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The roles of muscle contraction and insulin on restoring glucose uptake with novel pharmaceutical and engineering solutions

   School of Life Sciences

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  Dr M Brook, Prof P Greenhaff, Dr D Wilkinson, Prof P Atherton  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project

During spaceflight astronauts display increased levels of circulating insulin and glucose demonstrating the development of insulin resistance. The consequences of short- and long-term development of insulin resistance during spaceflight are unclear but will have deleterious effects on whole body health. As such, the development of strategies to maintain insulin sensitivity during spaceflight is of great importance, particularly with the possibility of long-term voyages such as to mars. Studies utilizing bed rest or models of immobilisation have demonstrated a rapid onset of insulin resistance and suggest that a reduction in muscle contraction is primarily driving deficits in glucose disposal. Muscle loading and the actions of insulin are powerful drivers of glucose uptake into muscle and with astronauts exposed to prolonged periods of muscle unloading, may offer avenues to develop novel physical interventions.
This project aims to investigate i) muscle and plasma proteome alterations in immobilisation induced muscle atrophy ii) antidiabetic drugs to protect against immobilisation induced effects on glucose disposal iii) exercise requirements to restore insulin sensitivity using novel exercise equipment and engineering solutions.

(additional supervisors include: Prof Phil Williams and Dr Ami Drory)

The University of Nottingham is one of the world’s most respected research-intensive universities, ranked 8th in the UK for research power (REF 2014). Students studying in the School of Life Sciences will have the opportunity to thrive in a vibrant, multidisciplinary environment, with expert supervision from leaders in their field, state-of-the-art facilities and strong links with industry. Students are closely monitored in terms of their personal and professional progression throughout their study period and are assigned academic mentors in addition to their supervisory team. The School provides structured training as a fundamental part of postgraduate personal development and our training programme enables students to develop skills across the four domains of the Vitae Researcher Development Framework (RDF). During their studies, students will also have the opportunity to attend and present at conferences around the world. The School puts strong emphasis on the promotion of postgraduate research with a 2-day annual PhD research symposium attended by all students, plus academic staff and invited speakers.

Funding Notes

This studentship is a 3.5-year funded studentship. Fully funded studentships are available for UK applicants. EU applicants who are able to confirm that they have been resident in the UK for at least three years before October 2019 may also be eligible for a full award. EU students who are not able to prove that they meet the residency criteria may apply for a fees only award.

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