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The Anti-Inflammatory and Antioxidant Potential of Herbal Supplements: Identifying Tissue Targets in Addressing Obesity and Metabolic Disease-PhD (Funded)


College of Life and Environmental Sciences

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Dr M O'Leary , Assoc Prof J Bowtell No more applications being accepted Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

This project will investigate the anti-inflammatory actions, metabolic effects and antioxidant potential of bioactive supplements in vascular endothelial cells, hepatic cells and adipose tissue. This work will use sera from human participants that have supplemented with the chosen herbs. The project will utilise state-of-the-art techniques, including tissue culture, molecular analyses of markers of inflammation and oxidative stress as well as laboratory-based tests of human study participants.

This studentship offers:

• Hands-on mentoring and support as a member of the Bioactives and Exercise Research Group

• Outstanding training in both in vivo and ex vivo human physiology research, based in a department with an international reputation for excellence

• Opportunities to develop transferrable skills, including oral and written communication expertise.

Essential criteria:

• Undergraduate degree (minimum 2:1 UK Honours degree, or the equivalent qualifications gained outside the UK) in a relevant discipline (e.g. physiology, sports science, medical sciences, biochemistry, medicine or related fields)

• Evidence of clear motivation to complete a PhD and an understanding of what PhD research entails

• Evidence of the ability to work collaboratively and to engage in a diverse community

• Evidence of excellent written and oral skills in English. If English is not your first language you will need to have achieved at least 6.5 in IELTS and no less than 6.0 in any section by the start of the project.  Alternative tests may be acceptable (see http://www.exeter.ac.uk/postgraduate/apply/english/)

Full training will be provided for the successful applicant and we encourage all candidates who meet the criteria above and who are enthusiastic about this opportunity to apply. However, candidates may wish to highlight if they possess any of the following desirable skills:

• Specialist knowledge of at least one of the following subject areas:

o Bioactive supplementation

o Molecular mechanisms underpinning adipose, vascular and hepatic inflammation and their clinical consequences

• Training in research methodology (e.g. undergraduate or master’s degree research projects)

• Cell culture experience

•  Research outputs (e.g. papers) and/or other indicators of academic excellence (e.g. awards)


Funding Notes

The University of Exeter’s College of Life and Environmental Sciences, in partnership with Pukka Herbs, is inviting applications for a fully-funded PhD studentship to commence in July 2021 or as soon as possible thereafter. For eligible students the studentship will cover Home tuition fees plus an annual tax-free stipend of at least £15,285 for 3 years full-time, or pro rata for part-time study. The student would be based in Sport and Health Sciences in the College of Life and Environmental Sciences at the St Luke’s Campus in Exeter.


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