How do mammals detect the harmful nature of blunt force, or sharp objects? How does the body defensively increase sensitivity of injured or inflamed tissues, making otherwise innocuous movements and touch feel painful? And how, as an inevitable consequence of aging, does the latter process go wrong over time, creating burdensome chronic pain? To answer these questions, we must look at sensory nerves. These cells supply our organs (including the skin) with the ability to detect information about the physical and chemical nature of our environments. They do so via protein molecules called receptors, tuned to detect specific types of environmental cues. In the past decade we have learned much about receptors that detect heat, cold, and light touch. Those responsible for painful touch, however, remain elusive. Uncovering and characterizing these molecules carries a high reward. Beyond furthering our knowledge of sensory physiology, these would provide potential targets for the development of new, more effective pain-relief therapies with fewer side-effects. This project will use state-of-the-art technology in functional genomics and electrophysiology to identify and study such proteins.
This studentship is part of the BBSRC White Rose Doctoral Training Partnership in Mechanistic Biology. (https://www.whiterose-mechanisticbiology-dtp.ac.uk/). Appointed candidates will be fully-funded for 4 years. The funding includes:
Tax-free annual UKRI stipend (£15,609 for 2021/22 starts. Awards increase every year, typically with inflation).
UK tuition fees (Around £4,500 per year)
Research Training and Support Grant (RTSG)
Conference and Professional Internships for PhD Students (PIPS) allowances
We aim to support the most outstanding applicants from inside and outside the UK. We are able to offer a limited number of bursaries that will enable full studentships to be awarded to international applicants. These full studentships will only be awarded to exceptional quality candidates, due to the competitive nature of this scheme.
Not all projects will be funded; the DTP will appoint a limited number of candidates via a competitive process.
How to apply
Applicants should complete an online application form and attach the following documentation to support their application.
- a full academic CV
- degree certificate and transcripts of marks
- Evidence that you meet the University's minimum English language requirements (if applicable).
To help us identify that you are applying for this studentship project please ensure you provide the following information on your application form;
- Select PhD in Biological Sciences as your programme of study
- Give the full project title and name the supervisors listed in this advert
- For source of funding please state you are applying for a White Rose BBSRC DTP funded studentship