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Regulating the inflammatory infiltrate in health and disease: Identification of new therapeutics

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Self-Funded PhD Students Only
    Self-Funded PhD Students Only

Project Description

We seek a PhD candidate of outstanding ability to join a developing and active research team at The University of Birmingham led by Dr Helen McGettrick . Our research group is interested in identifying the endogenous regulatory pathways that control the recruitment of the inflammatory infiltration during an acute inflammatory episode, and how these go wrong in immune mediated inflammatory diseases.

Broadly speaking we have two main areas of interest:
(i) mesenchymal stromal cell (MSC) crosstalk with vascular endothelial cells and
(ii) the adiponectin-PEPITEM axis in arthritis.

We combine imaging novel in vitro, multi-cellular static and flow-based culture systems incorporating primary human cells (from healthy individuals or patients), with systems biology approaches to large omics datasets and murine models of acute or persistent inflammation.

The student will be integrated into the multidisciplinary Institute for Inflammation and Ageing based the University laboratories in the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham ( IIA has been awarded four Centres of Excellence the MRC-Arthritis Research UK Centre for Musculoskeletal Ageing Research, the Arthritis Research UK Centre for Rheumatoid Pathogenesis, the NIHR Surgical Reconstruction and Microbiology Research Centre and the Scar Free Foundation, as well as an NIHR BRC in Inflammation.

Person Specification

Applicants should have a strong background in cell biology and/or immunology. They should have a commitment to research in inflammation biology and rheumatology research and hold or realistically expect to obtain at least an Upper Second Class Honours Degree, or equivalent, in a relevant biological subject.

Informal enquiries should be directed to Dr Helen McGettrick ()

Applications should be directed to Dr Helen McGettrick (email ).

To apply, please send:
• A detailed CV, including your nationality and country of birth;
• Names and addresses of two referees;
• A covering letter highlighting your research experience/capabilities;
• Copies of your degree certificates with transcripts;
• Evidence of your proficiency in the English language, if applicable.
• Evidence of scholarship awards or independent funding.

Funding Notes

Applications are invited from self-funding applicants only. Overseas applicants will need to meet the UoB English requirements which are IELTS of 6.5 overall with no less than 6.0 in any band or by holding an English language qualification to the right level or by taking one of our English courses for international students.


• Munir et al., (2017) Adipogenic differentiation of MSC alters their immunomodulatory properties in a tissue-specific manner. Stem Cell – doi: 10.1002/stem.2622
• Munir et al., (2016) Comparative ability of mesenchymal stem cells from different tissues to limit neutrophil recruitment to inflamed endothelium. PLOS ONE: 11(5):e0155161. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0155161
• Chimen, McGettrick et al. (2015) Homeostatic regulation of T cell trafficking by a B cell derived peptide is impaired in autoimmune and chronic inflammatory disease. Nature Medicine 21(5):467-75. doi:10.1038/nm.3842
• McGettrick et al. (2009) Fibroblasts from different sites may promote or inhibit recruitment of flowing lymphocytes by endothelial cells. European Journal of Immunology, 39:113-125 doi: 10.1002/eji.200838232.

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