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The role of fibroblasts in skeletal muscle ageing (SSEHS/NM)

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  • Full or part time
    Dr N Martin
    Prof M.P. Lewis
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Self-Funded PhD Students Only
    Self-Funded PhD Students Only

Project Description

Loughborough University is a top-ten rated university in England for research intensity (REF2014) and an outstanding 66% of the work of Loughborough’s academic staff who were eligible to be submitted to the REF was judged as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’, compared to a national average figure of 43%.

In choosing Loughborough for your research, you’ll work alongside academics who are leaders in their field. You will benefit from comprehensive support and guidance from our Graduate School, including tailored careers advice, to help you succeed in your research and future career.

Find out more:

Project Detail:

Ageing is associated with a decline in skeletal muscle size (sarcopenia), which results in loss of strength and independence, as well as impaired metabolic health. However, whilst sarcopenia is a well-known consequence of ageing, our understanding of the cellular and molecular mechanisms which contribute to it are poorly understood.

Satellite cells, which reside on the periphery of skeletal muscle fibres act as stem cells, capable of regenerating skeletal muscle following injury, trauma or exercise; however, the regenerative capacity of satellite cells in aged skeletal muscle has been questioned, and may contribute to the onset and progression of sarcopenia. The satellite cell niche may also play a key role in their ability to effective regenerate skeletal muscle, however the role of other cell types has been largely neglected in muscle ageing research.

Fibroblasts are a cell type present in the skeletal muscle niche which have recently been shown to enhance muscle regeneration in vitro (Mackey et al. 2017). In addition, we have previously investigated the role of varying the ratio of myogenic (muscle) to non-myogenic (fibroblast) cells in engineered skeletal muscle (Martin et al. 2013). This PhD will assess the role that fibroblasts play in skeletal muscle ageing utilising cell and molecular biology techniques, with the aim of further understanding the mechanisms underpinning sarcopenia.

Entry Requirements

-Applicants should have, or expect to achieve, at least a 2:1 honours degree (or equivalent) in sport and exercise science, human physiology, nutrition and biochemistry or a related subject.
A relevant master’s degree and/or experience in one or more of the above subjects will be an advantage.
-English Language Requirements:

How to apply:

All applications should be made online at Under programme name, select School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences.

Please quote reference number: SSEHS/NM

Funding Notes

This is an open call for candidates who are sponsored or who have their own funding. If you do not have funding, you may still apply, however Institutional funding is not guaranteed. Outstanding candidates (UK/EU/International) without funding will be considered for funding opportunities which may become available in the School.

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