Imperial College London Featured PhD Programmes
Imperial College London Featured PhD Programmes
Norwich Research Park Featured PhD Programmes
Norwich Research Park Featured PhD Programmes
Cardiff University Featured PhD Programmes

The role of purinergic signalling in cartilage and joint health (CLARKU20DTP)

Project Description

ATP is well known for its role in intracellular energy metabolism but ATP and a number of related nucleotides are also important extracellular signalling molecules. This so-called purinergic signalling is mediated via a number of cell surface receptors grouped into four P1 receptors and fifteen P2 receptors. Drugs targeting specific receptors are already in clinical use in a number of diseases. There is good evidence that purinergic signalling is involved in the homeostasis of the musculoskeletal system, including cartilage, a tissue key to joint health. However, specific details about the role of this signalling system in cartilage remain poorly defined.

In this studentship, we will characterise the expression of the components of purinergic signalling in cartilage, both mouse and human, across age and measure changes associated with cartilage development and catabolism. We will then assay function of key P1 or P2 receptors in cartilage physiology. The studentship will involve several techniques of cell and molecular biology and physiology, using both in vitro and in vivo models. The studentship is a collaboration between the Clark and Fountain laboratories at UEA and the Orriss laboratory at the Royal Veterinary College, London.

Project supervisor:
Project sponsor: Norwich Research Park Bioscience Doctoral Training Partnership
Type of programme: PhD
Start date: 1 October 2020
Mode of study: Full-time
Studentship length: 4 years


- First degree (2:1 or above) in relevant subject
- English language (IELTS 6.5 overall, 6 in each section)


This project has been shortlisted for funding by the Norwich Biosciences Doctoral Training Partnership (NRPDTP). Shortlisted applicants will be interviewed as part of the studentship competition. Candidates will be interviewed on either the 7th, 8th or 9th January 2020.

The NRP DTP offers postgraduates the opportunity to undertake a 4-year research project whilst enhancing professional development and research skills through a comprehensive training programme. You will join a vibrant community of world-leading researchers. All NRPDTP students undertake a three-month professional internship (PIPS) during their study. The internship offers exciting and invaluable work experience designed to enhance professional development. Full support and advice will be provided by our Professional Internship team. Students with, or expecting to attain, at least an upper second class honours degree, or equivalent, are invited to apply.

For further information and to apply, please visit our website:

Funding Notes

For funding eligibility guidance, please visit our website: View Website. Full Studentships cover a stipend (2019/0 rate: £15,009pa), research costs and tuition fees at UK/EU rate and are available to UK and EU students who meet the UK residency requirements.

Students from EU countries who do not meet the UK residency requirements may be eligible for a fees-only award. Students in receipt of a fees-only award will be eligible for a maintenance stipend awarded by the NRPDTP Bioscience Doctoral Scholarships. To be eligible students must meet the EU residency requirements.

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