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PhD Studentship – Enhancing antibody delivery across the blood brain barrier as a therapeutic strategy for dementia.

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  • Full or part time
    Prof J Teeling
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Recent studies have provided convincing evidence for a role of systemic infection in the onset and progression of neurodegenerative diseases. A phase I/II safety study has suggested that neutralization of cytokines (e.g. TNF-a) may be beneficial for patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease with mild cognitive impairment, but more research is needed to understand the underlying biological mechanism. Monoclonal antibodies (mAb) have the ability to specifically target key proteins, including cytokines, but application to neurological diseases has been hindered by poor transfer across the blood brain barrier (BBB), and therefore insufficient target engagement. Through this studentship we can now apply a unique technology which increases the efficacy of large biologics to cross this barrier.

Funding Notes

This MRC CASE studentship is a collaborative project between The University of Southampton and Medimmune (based in Cambridge). We are looking for a highly motivated candidate who will benefit from training in a range of molecular, biochemical, in vivo and ex vivo techniques, behavioural analysis and antibody engineering. The project is funded for 4 years and welcomes applicants from the UK and EU who have or expect to obtain at least an upper second class degree in Biological Sciences or allied subjects. Funding will cover fees and a stipend at a supplemented research council rate of £ 16,500 per annum.


Relevant literature:

Butchart J et al. Etanercept in Alzheimer disease: A randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, phase 2 trial. Neurology. 2015 May 26;84(21):2161-8.

Püntener U et al. Long-term impact of systemic bacterial infection on the cerebral vasculature and microglia. J Neuroinflammation. 2012;9:146.

Applications for an MPhil/PhD in Biological Sciences should be submitted online at :

Please place Jessica Teeling’s name in the field for proposed supervisor.

Due to funding restrictions this position is only open to UK/EU applicants.

General enquiries should be made to [email protected] Any queries on the application process should be made to [email protected]

Applications will be considered in the order that they are received, and the position will be considered filled when a suitable candidate has been identified

The University of Southampton and the Centre for Biological Sciences both hold an Athena Swan Bronze Award, demonstrating their commitment to provide equal opportunities and to advance the representation of women in STEM/M subjects: science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine. Due consideration will be given to applicants who have taken a career break. University benefits include onsite childcare facilities, state-of-the-art on-campus sports, arts and culture facilities, a full programme of events and a range of staff discounts.

How good is research at University of Southampton in Biological Sciences?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 34.80

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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