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Investigating the neuroprotective effect of exercise; the role of redox homeostasis

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  • Full or part time
    Dr Aldred
    Prof Wood
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

Project Description

Oxidative stress is central to brain health, and arises when oxidants (produced in metabolism) overwhelm antioxidants (produced as a defence). The balance between oxidants and antioxidants is called redox balance, and this is key for cell function. Redox disturbance or oxidative stress has been directly linked to mental disorders such as schizophrenia, depression, cognitive decline, and dementia. Exercise can perturb oxidative stress and may rebalance redox disturbances in disorders of mental health. However, little is known about how exercise affects the brain, and what type of exercise is best for the brain. We don’t understand enough about how exercise impacts on the brain to know what type of exercise is most beneficial.

This project seeks to investigate how exercise affects the brain, and to establish the best form of exercise to stimulate the optimal change necessary for mental health. The project will use new brain imaging technology to look at the level of stress in the brain in response to exercise in two exercise intervention studies; one undertaken in healthy participants and the second in two clinical groups.
The aim of this project is to explore oxidative stress as a mechanism by which exercise offers protection for the brain.


Requirements: We are looking for a highly motivated PhD student with a degree in the field of exercise sciences, biochemistry, physiology, neurology or related. Experience with experimental methods related to exercise testing and/or protein biochemistry is strongly encouraged. Experience with imaging technologies such as fMRI is desirable. The candidate will need to work well independently as well as within a team and have excellent communication skills.

Funding Notes

The Integrative Midlands Partnership for Biomedical Training (IMPACT) is a MRC-funded doctoral training partnership between the universities of Birmingham, Leicester and Nottingham, and the Research Complex at Harwell.

Interested applicants should apply with an up-to-date CV including 2 academic referees and a personal statement detailing your research experience to the contact details detailed below.
For more information please visit the following website:http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/research/activity/mrc-impact/index.aspx
Please note that applicants are encouraged to make contact with the academic supervisor prior to application although this is not a requirement.

The closing date for applications is Sunday 10 January 2016.
To apply, please contact: [email protected]

How good is research at University of Birmingham in Sport and Exercise Sciences, Leisure and Tourism?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 34.40

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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