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The impact of recurrent hypoglycaemia in type 1 diabetes on neuronal structure and function

Project Description

Diabetes is one of the most prevalent non-communicable diseases, affecting 6 million people in Europe, 10% of whom have Type 1 diabetes (T1D). Normalising elevated glucose levels decreases symptoms, prevents microvascular complications, improves cardiovascular health and save lives, but creates a significant risk of low glucose (hypoglycaemia). Hypoglycaemia is a serious event associated with cognitive decline, reduced quality of life, cardiovascular events and mortality. Hypo-RESOLVE is a unique public-private partnership Innovative Medicines Initiative whose overall objective is to reduce the burden and consequences of hypoglycaemia. Work Package 2 (lead University of Dundee) of Hypo-RESOLVE incorporates both laboratory and clinical science approaches towards the objective of increasing our understanding of the causes and consequences of hypoglycaemia in diabetes.

The primary objective of this PhD will be to study the effects of recurrent hypoglycaemia (RH) in diabetes on neuronal structure and function. This PhD studentship will use novel in vitro and in vivo models to investigate the impact of RH on neuronal structure and function. Electrophysiology combined with state of the art molecular and confocal imaging techniques will be used to examine the impact of RH on hippocampal function and structure respectively. If RH in associated with impairments in synaptic plasticity, the underlying mechanisms will be explored, using a range of approaches (electrophysiology, biochemical and molecular assays). Finally, we will attempt to correlate changes in hippocampal structure and/or function with physiological outputs such the cognitive deficits observed in T1D following RH or restoration of hypoglycaemia awareness

These studies will increase our understanding of the neuronal complications associated with RH in T1D and provide valuable insight into the underlying mechanisms behind cognitive dysfunction associated with hypoglycaemia.

Funding Notes

HypoRESOLVE; European IMI funded project.

Start date: 06 Jan 2020.

Eligibility: minimum 2:1 Honours degree in relevant subject.

Informal enquiries to: Dr Jenni Harvey () or Dr Alison McNeilly ().


Full applications, including a CV and two references, should be sent to [email protected]

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