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Predicting the physiological response to exercise and nutrition in ageing and type II diabetes

Project Description

In 2015, there were 415 million adults worldwide with type II diabetes and by 2040, type II diabetes will affect one in ten adults worldwide (1). Ageing predisposes to type II diabetes and indeed, over 80% of those with the condition are over 50 years old (1). Type II diabetes reduces quality of life and total lifespan, and two of the best treatments are not drugs, but diet and exercise (2). Several studies have investigated the benefits of exercise on glycaemic control and the mechanisms of these benefits. However, the minimal ‘dose’ of exercise required to increase insulin sensitivity and improve glycaemic control has never been established.

In the first study, the student will conduct exercise testing, oral glucose tolerance tests, and a series of biochemical analyses in blood to determine the quantity of exercise required to improve glycaemic control in patients with type II diabetes. In study two, the student will investigate whether the minimal amount of exercise to improve glycaemic control is influenced by biological age and muscle mass by comparing physiological and biochemical responses in BMI-matched young and old volunteers. In the third study, the student will investigate whether the success of dieting is determined as a function of age. This will be investigated using the a low-carbohydrate intervention in patients with Type II diabetes and modelling the benefits to glycaemic control as a function of age. Using the expertise of Dr Benjamin Taylor, the student will develop statistical models in order to quantify and understand improvements in glycaemic control as a function of exercise and diet.

This project presents a unique opportunity for an ambitious PhD candidate to train within both arms of biomedicine: running human volunteer research studies, while acquiring skills in statistical modelling.

For further information about the project contact or

Applications are made by completing an application for PhD Medicine October 2019 through our online application system. Closing date: midnight 15th March 2019

Funding Notes

Awards are available for UK or EU students only for a maximum of three years full-time study. Awards will cover University Tuition Fees and stipend at Research Council Doctoral Stipend Level (2018-2019: £14,777).

Related Subjects

How good is research at Lancaster University in Allied Health Professions, Dentistry, Nursing and Pharmacy?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 64.40

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

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