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Re-Purposing Anti-Ageing Drugs to Heal Diabetic Foot Ulcers

   Hull York Medical School

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  Dr Holly Wilkinson, Prof M Hardman  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

Hull United Kingdom Cell Biology

About the Project

Applications are invited for an exciting 3-year fully funded Diabetes UK PhD studentship to commence in Autumn 2021.   

The studentship is part of an interdisciplinary programme of work supervised by Dr Holly Wilkinson and Prof Mat Hardman at the Hull York Medical School, that aims to address the causes of chronic wounds and, with industry partners, develop new treatments.  

Diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs) are a serious, underappreciated complication of type I and type II diabetes mellitus. One in four diabetics will develop at least one DFU, with almost a quarter of DFU patients requiring a lower limb amputation. This represents a significant socioeconomic burden, costing the NHS a staggering £1Bn per annum. As current wound treatments are inadequate, there remains a clinical unmet need to develop effective new therapies for DFUs. 

The purpose of this PhD studentship is to build upon our previous work in understanding the contribution of cellular senescence to impaired healing in diabetes (Wilkinson et al., 2019 J Invest Dermatol). The student will perform detailed mechanistic studies as well as testing the potential to re-purpose existing senolytic drugs for the treatment of DFUs. This project will provide extensive training in our cutting-edge in vitroex vivo and in vivo skin wound methodologies. Strong clinical links will allow evaluation of senescence in clinical samples. The student will employ a range of analysis techniques including histology, confocal microscopy and RNA-sequencing. 

For informal inquiries, please contact Dr Holly Wilkinson ([Email Address Removed]). 

The successful candidate will join the internationally renowned Hull York Medical School, embedded in a £28 million state-of-the-art Health Campus at the University of Hull. They will be located in an active and vibrant research group at the Daisy Research Laboratories, Castle Hill Hospital, where they will be supervised by experts in the fields of diabetes and wound healing. 

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. The Medical School delivers outstanding academic and clinical research with over 85% classed as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ (REF 2014).  

This exceptional opportunity will provide academic and clinically oriented training in diabetes from the wider research team – working on an area with the potential to improve the health of people locally and impacting national and international health agendas. 

Named Academic 

Dr Holly Wilkinson, Lecturer in Wound Healing, Centre for Atherothrombosis and Metabolic Disease. 

Email: [Email Address Removed] 

Start Date 

1st October 2021 

Qualification Required 

This studentship will appeal to a candidate with a strong interest in the Biomedical area. You will require an undergraduate degree with at least a 2.1, or MSc/MRes, in a relevant subject (Biomedical Sciences, Cell Biology or related discipline). If English is not your first language you will require a valid English certificate equivalent to IELTS 6.5+ with a minimum of 6.0 in all components. 

All applications MUST BE submitted to Hull York Medical School via the online application method choosing the option PhD in Medical Sciences 2021 October, full time: 

The deadline for applications is the 14th May 2021 

 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 an outline of academic interest. Outline of interest and personal statements may be used in selecting applicants for interview. If you have any queries on how to apply please email [Email Address Removed].

Funding Notes

This is a fully funded full-time project. The studentship will cover tuition fees and provide an annual stipend for 3 years at current Diabetes UK rates (at least £17,000 per annum). This project is only available to home-fee paying students.