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PhD studentship in new antifibrotic and antiadipogenic drugs for Duchenne muscular dystrophy

   Translational and Clinical Research Institute

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  Prof Jordi Diaz-Manera  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Award Summary

The award will cover the home rate of PhD tuition fees and pay a stipend at the UKRI rate (2021/2022 rate is £15,609).


Are you interested in learning how to develop a drug from in vitro cell experiments to clinical trials?. This project will work on the discovery of new drugs with antifibrotic and antiadipogenic potential for the treatment of Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

Duchenne muscular dystrophy is a terrible genetic disease characterized by progressive degeneration of the skeletal muscles that starts early after birth and progresses over the years leading to lose of ambulation during adolescence, development of cardiorespiratory complications and death before the age of 30 years. There is not any treatments available yet than can change the natural history of this disease.

In this PhD, you are going to assess several therapeutic compounds with antiadipogenic and antifibrotic that have been identified using a high throughput screening. You will characterize the effect of these drugs in vitro in fibroadipogenic precursor cells, a type of mesenchymal stem cells, and study their capacity to block fibrotic and adipogenic differentiation. You will also learn how to assess safety and cytotoxicity of the compounds. The best candidates will be tested in vivo in murine models of Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

You will become an expert on a large number of techniques during the PhD. You will be working on an international well-known centre specialized in genetic neuromuscular diseases combining clinical and basic researchers, giving you the opportunity to interact with several professional expert in different aspects of these diseases providing an holistic view of muscular dystrophies. 

Number Of Awards


Start Date

1 May 2022

Award Duration

Three years


Duchenne UK


Prof. Jordi Díaz-Manera, Newcastle University Translational and Clinical Research Institute

Dr. Esther Fernández-Simón, Newcastle University Translational and Clinical Research Institute

Eligibility Criteria

You must have, or expect to achieve, at least a 2:1 Honours degree in biology, medicine, physiology, pharmacology or a related area. A further qualification such as an MSc or MRes is advantageous.

This award is available to home and international applicants. International applicants will be responsible for covering the difference between Home and International fees.

To study this course, you need to meet the following English Language requirements: IELTS 6.5  overall (with a minimum of 5.5 in all other sub-skills).

How To Apply

You must apply through the University’s online postgraduate application system by creating an account.

You will need to: 

1.      Click on programme of study

2.      Insert 8300F in the programme code section and click search

3.      Select Programme name ‘PhD in the Faculty of Medical Sciences (full time) – Translational and Clinical Research'

4.      Insert TC033 in the studentship/partnership reference field

5.      Attach a covering letter and CV. The covering letter must state the title of the studentship, quote reference code TC033 and state how your interests and experience relate to the project

6.      Attach degree transcripts and certificates and, if English is not your first language, a copy of your English language qualification. You will not be able to submit your application until you have submitted your degree transcript/s.

Contact Details

Prof. Jordi Diaz Manera

John Walton Muscular Dystrophy Research Center.

Newcastle University Translational and Clinical Research Institute

E-mail: [Email Address Removed]

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 241 8602

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