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Self funded BMS Project: Autophagic control of cellular rejuvenation and the reversal of cell ageing


   York Biomedical Research Institute


About the Project

Applications accepted for PhD Only

The percentage of national populations over the age of 65 has been increasing and by 2050 the number of adults over the age of 80 is expected to triple. However, many people in their 70s and 80s are living with chronic diseases such as osteoarthritis, neurodegeneration, cardiovascular disease and cancer. Age-related disorders are associated with increased cellular stress and the accumulation of damaged material. Autophagy is a process of lysosome-dependent intracellular degradation of macromolecules which can maintain cellular homeostasis. Autophagy and lysosomal dysregulation have been observed in ageing tissues and there is increasing evidence that age-related neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease are connected to impaired lysosomal activity, as is myocardial ageing. These observations, and our previous work (Pennock et al, 2015), suggest that restoration of lysosomal function in aged cells would re-establish autophagy-mediated clearance of unwanted cytoplasmic materials to facilitate cellular rejuvenation and potentially reverse cell ageing. This PhD aims to identify the specific autophagic mechanisms mediating the rejuvenation of aged adult human cells using in vitro and in vivo ageing models. It will determine if the efficiency of the rejuvenation process can be enhanced by controlling autophagic flux using exogenous factors. In doing so it may open new therapeutic routes for combating age-related loss of cell and tissue function.

The York Biomedical Research Institute at the University of York is committed to recruiting extraordinary future scientists regardless of age, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, disability, sexual orientation or career pathway to date. We understand that commitment and excellence can be shown in many ways and have built our recruitment process to reflect this. We welcome applicants from all backgrounds, particularly those underrepresented in science, who have curiosity, creativity and a drive to learn new skills.

Entry Requirements: Students with, or expecting to gain, at least an upper second class honours degree, or equivalent, are invited to apply. The interdisciplinary nature of this programme means that we welcome applications from students with backgrounds in any biological, chemical, and/or physical science, or students with mathematical backgrounds who are interested in using their skills in addressing biological questions. 

Programme: PhD in Biomedical Science (3 year)

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Funding Notes

This is a self funded research project. Applicants need to have adequate funds to meet the costs of a self-funded research project including tuition fees and living expenses for the duration of the research programme.

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