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Platelets and hypoxia: how do varying oxygen concentrations affect platelet function and signalling?

Hull York Medical School

About the Project

Platelets have key functions in regulating haemostasis and maintaining vascular integrity, which can cause cardiovascular disease if unbalanced. Standard assays for platelet function and antiplatelet drug testing are done at atmospheric conditions; however, platelets are only exposed to 21% oxygen (atmospheric levels) during external bleeding. Commonly platelets experience a fluctuating range of physiological oxygen concentrations while circulating across the vasculature: this goes from 13% oxygen in arterial blood to 5% oxygen in venous blood, and even lower concentrations when passing through specific tissues. Moreover, platelets will experience hypoxia in diseases like myocardial infarction, stroke and peripheral vascular disease.
Despite published studies, a deep understanding of the effect of oxygen concentration in platelet biology is missing. This information is needed in order to better evaluate the usefulness of current and future antiplatelet drugs in treating platelet-related disorders that do not involve external bleeding. The present study will investigate how varying physiological and pathological oxygen concentrations affect human platelet function (i.e., aggregation, spreading/migration, secretion, etc.), intracellular signalling, and responses to anti-platelet drugs. The effect of erythrocytes on platelet function at low oxygen levels will also be evaluated by using whole blood in addition to isolated platelets. Major platelet signalling pathways (i.e., heterotrimeric G protein-coupled receptors, Src/Syk tyrosine kinase-associated receptors, etc.) will be studied. This project will involve a number of molecular and cell biology techniques, including protein biochemistry, immunoblotting, ELISA, flow cytometry, fluorescence microscopy, and platelet light transmission aggregometry.
This is a full time PhD in Medical Sciences
For informal inquiries, please contact Dr. Monica Arman ().
Location and Research Culture
Hull York Medical School’s unique partnership brings together the expertise of both the Universities of Hull and York and offers a thriving environment in which to conduct world-leading research. Strong partnerships with NHS Trusts and community health organisations offer a wide clinical base within which to study those conditions which most affect our communities – improving their health while developing research work that can be applied nationally and globally.
The School’s academic and clinical researchers at have a strong reputation for their work, 85% of which is classed as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ (REF 2014). Their research is advancing improvements in healthcare – treatment, diagnosis and care – improving the health of people locally and impacting national and international health agendas.
The student will join a dynamic research team and thriving community of graduate students from the UK and overseas in the Centre for Atherothrombosis and Metabolic Disease at the University of Hull. Many students also study in our laboratories at local hospitals across the city. This gives our students unparalleled access to the facilities, academic and clinical expertise to thrive in their research.
Named Academic
Dr. Monica Arman, Lecturer in Biomedical Science, Centre for Atherothrombosis and Metabolic Disease.
Start Date
To be arranged upon acceptance of an offer.
Qualification Required
In order to qualify for this position, you will require an undergraduate degree with at least a 2.1, or equivalent, in a relevant subject (Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biology, Pharmacology, Pharmacy or related discipline). English Language IELTS 6.5 with a minimum 6.0 in all components.
How to Apply
All applications MUST be submitted through the HYMS Postgraduate Centre via the online application system:

Please apply for a “PhD in Medical Sciences” at Hull York Medical School. Please quote HYMS with the scholarship title when applying. In order for the Panel to get a sense of your academic background, commitment and interest, you are required to complete the application form in full and provide a research proposal/outline of academic interest. Research proposals and personal statements may be used in selecting applicants for interview. If you have any queries on how to apply, please email .
Interview Date
Applicants who are shortlisted for interview will be sent details of the date, time and venue via email. If you are not invited for interview, it means that your application has not been successful. Please note that we do not offer feedback to applicants who are not invited to the interview.

Funding Notes

Self-funded students only - if you have the correct qualifications and access to your own funding, either through a scholarship or your own finances, your application will be considered.
In addition to tuition fees and living expenses, funding must also include a £10,000 per year Research Training Support charge over three years to cover costs of experimental work.

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