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Unravelling molecular mechanisms connecting genomic organisation, DNA damage and vascular ageing (WARRENDU20SCIEC)

Project Description

The aorta is a large elastic artery that serves to carry blood away from the heart. This elastic property allows the aorta to change shape in response to changes in blood pressure. As we age, the aorta loses this elastic property and becomes stiffer. Increased aortic stiffness is a major risk factor in the development of cardiovascular disease. Vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) are the predominant cell type in the aortic wall. VSMC damage induces inflammatory gene expression and this is known to increase aortic stiffness. We have shown that VSMCs grown on stiff environments possess higher levels of DNA damage. This studentship aims to identify how DNA damage, genomic reorganisation and inflammatory gene expression are induced in rigid environments.

We are seeking an enthusiastic scientist to join our group. You will gain extensive experience in primary human VSMC tissue culture, hydrogel fabrication and confocal microscopy techniques. You will also be trained in the downstream image analysis software. In addition, you will learn standard molecular biological, biochemical, cell biological, pharmacological and cell imaging techniques including qPCR and Western blot analysis.

For more information on the project’s supervisor, please visit:
Type of programme: PhD
Start date of project: October 2020
Mode of study: full time
Studentship length: funded for 3 years
Location: UEA
Entry requirement: acceptable first degree in Biological Sciences. The standard minimum entry requirement is 2:1

Funding Notes

This PhD project is in a competition for a Faculty of Science funded studentship. Funding is available to UK/EU applicants and comprises home/EU tuition fees and an annual stipend of £15,009 for 3 years. Overseas applicants may apply but they are required to fund the difference between home/EU and overseas tuition fees (which for 2019-20 are detailed on the University’s fees pages at View Website . Please note tuition fees are subject to an annual increase).

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