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Understanding the link between SGLT2i’s and skeletal muscle health

   Department of Health Sciences

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  Prof M Davies, Dr Luke Baker  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

Sodium-glucose transport protein 2 inhibitors (SGLT2i) have provided a step change in the way in which we treat and manage those with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM) through their role in the manipulation of glucose reabsorption. There is also growing evidence for their use in other associated long-term conditions (LTCs). As such understanding the wider implications of their use is paramount to inform their use in clinical practice. Loss of skeletal muscle mass and function is common in individuals living with T2DM and other LTCs. SGLT2i have been shown to significantly influence body mass, particular early on in the treatment cycle and as such, understanding the link between the use of SGLT2i and skeletal muscle health is vital to ensure appropriate measures are taken when prescribing SGLT2i, in particularly in those at risk from a loss of muscle mass and function.

This project will use a bench-to-bedside approach to explore this relationship, to identify and manipulate the mechanisms of this interaction, and provide a step change in our understanding in the context of precision medicine. This project will bring together the Leicester Biomedical Research Centre (BRC), Leicester Precision Medicine Institute (LPMI) and the world leading Leicester Diabetes Centre to undertake an exciting programme of work integrating cell and molecular biology, in-vivo muscle physiology, and clinical exercise physiology.

The successful candidate will undertake a mixture of research methods including patient recruitment, physiological assessments, tissue-based analyses and in-vitro experimental techniques and analysis to answer this pertinent research question.

Entry requirements:

  • UK Bachelor's Degree with at least 2:1 in a relevant subject or overseas equivalent.  
  • University of Leicester English language requirements apply where applicable.


  • Open to UK (Home) applicants only

Project enquiries:

  • Dr Luke Baker [Email Address Removed]
  • Professor Melanie Davies [Email Address Removed]

How to Apply:

To submit your application, please follow the guidance at: https://le.ac.uk/study/research-degrees/funded-opportunities/lpmi-hs-davies

Include with your application:

  • CV
  • Degree Certificates and Transcripts of study already completed and if possible transcript to date of study currently being undertaken
  • Personal Statement outlining your interest in the project, your experience and why we should consider you
  • Enter contact details of two academic referees in the boxes provided or upload reference letters if already obtained
  • Evidence of English language (if applicable)
  • In the fees and funding section specify that you wish to be considered for the LPMI Studentship
  • In the research proposal section, include the names of the project supervisors and the project title (a research proposal is not required)

Funding Notes

This 3.5-year PhD Studentship provides:
UK tuition fee waiver
Annual stipend at UKRI rates (£16,062 for 2022/23)
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