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The role of innate immunity in pulmonary repair and remodelling during early life allergic airways disease

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  • Full or part time
    Prof S Saglani
    Prof C Lloyd
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About This PhD Project

Project Description

3yr PhD funded by British Lung Foundation - starting October 2018

Applications are invited from candidates with a Master’s degree (Merit and above) in Biomedical Sciences or a related discipline, for a 3 year PhD studentship to investigate how innate immune pathways contribute to lung repair and remodeling during childhood asthma.

The studentship will be funded for 3 years with a tax free bursary of £21,665 per annum. Tuition fees at the Home/EU rate will also be paid.

The normal inflammatory response to harmful stimuli is followed by a phase of repair, but chronic disease is associated with exaggerated repair culminating in tissue remodelling. We have shown that airway remodelling develops early in children with severe pre-school wheezing and is established by school-age in children with severe asthma. Remodelling develops in parallel with the irreversible loss in lung function that occurs in early life. Therapeutic interventions that prevent inappropriate airway remodelling may allow disease modification and alter the natural history of childhood asthma. At mucosal surfaces the barrier epithelial cells, stromal cells and immune effector cells are thought to contribute to the processes that result in exaggerated repair and remodelling, but the underlying molecular mechanisms are unknown. This project will investigate the particular contribution of innate lymphoid cells (ILC) and the molecules that govern their migration, differentiation and survival in the regulation of pulmonary repair versus remodeling. The project will use a variety of in vivo disease models and in vitro cell culture models to determine how ILCs contribute to regulation of extracellular matrix production and examine their interactions with resident epithelial cells and fibroblasts.

Imperial College London provides excellent opportunities for research students' training. All students benefit from a full programme of training in research and transferable skills organised through the Graduate School, the quality of which has been recognised several times at the Times Higher Education (THE) Awards. The student will be based in the National Heart and Lung Institute which provides an exciting environment, with state of the art facilities and excellent opportunities for PhD student training including research seminars and journal clubs. In addition, the institute provides extensive collaborative opportunities with other research groups.
The successful student will be part of the Breathing Together consortium – a 5 year Wellcome Trust Funded project designed to investigate mechanisms underlying preschool wheeze.

How to Apply
Applicants must hold, or expect to obtain, a first or upper second-class undergraduate degree or UK equivalent, along with a Masters, both in an appropriate subject from a recognised academic institution. To apply please send a CV, a one page personal statement, and the names and addresses of at least two academic referees to Professor Clare Lloyd by email on [Email Address Removed] Please note that candidates must fulfil College admissions criteria.

Application deadline: Sunday 17th June 2018


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