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PhD studentship in Immunology - Bcl-3 as a mediator of immune dysregulation in CD4+ T-cells of early rheumatoid arthritis

Translational and Clinical Research Institute

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Dr A Pratt No more applications being accepted Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project

Number of awards:

Start date and duration:
1 October 2020 for 4 years.

CD4+ T-cell-mediated immune dysregulation plays a prominent role in RA pathogenesis. Our work indicates that Bcl-3, an atypical IκB protein involved in regulation of NF-κB transcriptional activity, is over-expressed in circulating CD4+ T-cells from RA patients. Studies in Bcl3 transgenic mice reveal important roles for Bcl-3 in controlling inflammation/ autoimmunity, while our preliminary studies using an in vitro human CD4 T-cell model suggest enhanced Bcl-3 expression increases effector cell differentiation. Our hypothesis is that enhanced Bcl-3 expression in early RA CD4+ T-cells promotes their development towards pathogenic phenotypes following TCR stimulation. The overarching objective of this studentship is to establish whether or not Bcl-3 is a plausible target for therapeutic development in rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

The student will spend the first 12 months of the project at University of Glasgow (laboratory of Dr. Ruaidhri Carmody), before moving to Newcastle University for the final 3 years of the project).

You will be part of The Research into Inflammatory Arthritis Centre Versus Arthritis (RACE) is a collaboration between the Universities of Birmingham, Glasgow, Newcastle and Oxford, with funding and support from Versus Arthritis. The programme capitalises on the expertise of the contributing academic institutions, and offers an outstanding opportunity for students to undertake excellent project-based research training within world-class research environments.

The Research into Inflammatory Arthritis Centre Versus Arthritis (RACE) (

Name of supervisor(s):
Dr Arthur Pratt and Dr Amy Anderson, Translational and Clinical Research Institute, Newcastle University.

Eligibility Criteria
Applicants must have, or expect to achieve, at least a 2:1 honours degree or international equivalent, in a biological or related subject. A Masters (MRes or MSci) qualification may be advantageous.

The award is available to UK/EU applicants only.

How to apply:
You must apply through the University’s online postgraduate application system by creating an account ( To do this please select ‘How to Apply’ and choose the ‘Apply now’ button.

Select ‘Create new account’.

Only mandatory fields need to be completed. However, you will need to include the following information:

insert the programme code 8300F in the programme of study section
select ‘PhD in the Faculty of Medical Sciences’ as the programme of study
insert the studentship code TC002 in the studentship/partnership reference field
attach a covering letter and CV. The covering letter must state the title of the studentship, quote the studentship reference code TC002 and state how your interests and experience relate to the project
attach degree transcripts and certificates and, if English is not your first language, a copy of your English language qualifications.
Please also send a Cover letter and CV to: [Email Address Removed]

Funding Notes

Support includes an annual stipend at RCUK rate for 4 years (amount for 2019/20 was £15,009), PhD registration fees at UK/EU student rate, research expenses and travel costs
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