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Strategies to prevent damage in phase 1 ROP

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  • Full or part time
    Dr D McDonald
    Prof P Moynagh
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description


Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) is a sight-threatening complication that affects most premature babies. Current treatments, which focus on the late stages of the disease, are expensive, have a limited efficacy and often have life-long serious side-effects. New treatments are urgently needed.

This project will focus on the early stages of the disease. In our previous research, we have shown that the damage to vascular endothelial cells causing ROP is induced by the high-oxygen (hyperoxia) administrated to premature babies to help them survive.

This project will focus on a novel target, a ubiquitin-modifying protein involved in controlling cell division and differentiation, that our group has identifed to be induced by hyperoxia. Using isolated vascular cells and in vivo models mimicking ROP, this project aims to define the role of this novel target in ROP in order to develop new avenues to protect against the deleterious consequences of hyperoxia.

This project would suit candidates willing to develop a range of highly sought-after and transferable technical skills, from isolation of primary vascular cells and gene manipulation to identification of post-translational modification of proteins and mass spectrometry.


Candidates should have or expect to obtain a 2:1 or higher Honours degree or equivalent in a relevant biomedical or life sciences subject.

English Language

Candidates applying from countries where the first language is not English should produce evidence of their competence through a qualification such as IELTS or TOEFL score.

The minimum recommended score for the School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Science is:
• IELTS score of 6.0 with not less than 5.5 in each of the four component elements of listening, reading, speaking and writing taken within the last 2 years;
• TOEFL score of 80+ (internet basted test), taken within the last 2 years, with minimum component scores of; Listening 17, Reading 18, Speaking 20, Writing 17);
• A valid Certificate of Proficiency in English grade A or B;
• A valid Certificate of Advanced English grade A; or
• A first or upper second class honours degree from a university based in the UK, Republic of Ireland or other suitably quality assured location in a country deemed by the UK Border Agency to be majority English speaking.

For a list of English Language qualifications also accepted by the School and University please see the following link:

The English Language Unit (ELU) offers both pre-sessional and in-sessional courses in English for academic purposes and study skills. Courses vary in length and full information can be obtained from the ELU

Funding Notes

*FUNDING CONFIRMED – Fight for Sight*

Eligibility for both fees (£4,260 (Home/EU) for 2018/19) and maintenance (£17,000 per annum) depends on the applicants being either an ordinary UK or EU resident.

International applicants can apply, but if successful, will have to pay the difference between 'Home/EU' and 'International' fees (£19,700) themselves.


Please visit the School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences, Centre for Experimental Medicine, website for further details about the Centre:

When applying, please choose 'MEDICINE' as your subject area/School.

Related Subjects

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