The objective of this PhD project is to determine cardiovascular, metabolic risk and bone health in patients who have undergone total body irradiation and stem cell transplant.
Haemopoeitic stem cell transplant has revolutionised the management of many conditions including haematological malignancies and other conditions. However, the high-dose chemotherapy schedules for these patients have an impact on their long-term outcome. Since many are expected to have a normal life expectancy, it would be useful to identify early adverse effects potentially caused by the transplant, intensive chemotherapy and total body irradiation.
There is evidence that the endothelial dysfunction possibly resulting from chemotherapy and radiotherapy can put these patients at an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. There is no comprehensive information on the effect of this treatment on glucose homeostasis, lipoprotein metabolism and functionality, systemic inflammation, platelet function and other cardiovascular risk factors. Neither is there any information on these patients bone health. We assess patients 6 and 12 months after treatment.
In the proposed project, we will examine a number of factors such as insulin resistance, pancreatic beta cell function, low-density lipoprotein composition and quality, high-density lipoprotein functionality and composition and lipoprotein metabolism in patients undergoing haemopoeitic stem cell transplant compared with age and sex matched controls. We will then look into mechanistic explanations of observations in the first stage by conducting in vitro experiments. This approach is likely to be beneficial since early interventions with lifestyle modifications or drugs like statins may prevent premature cardiovascular disease.
The successful candidate will gain extensive experience in basic science, laboratory aspects, and clinical nature of different fields including haematology, lipoprotein and vascular biology, stem cell transplant, endocrinology, and cardiometabolic disorders. The project is suitable for scientists, biochemists or clinicians interested in endocrinology, cardiovascular medicine or haematology.
Candidates are expected to hold a minimum upper-second (or equivalent) undergraduate degree in a relevant analytical/biological/medical science. Previous experience of some of the techniques to be employed in the study would be an advantage as would a relevant Masters qualification.
Upon completion, progression into a postdoctoral career within academia, clinical research or industry would be anticipated.
This 3-year PhD project is open to UK/EU and non-EU nationals able to evidence self-funding or sponsorship. The anticipated start date is July 2016, but this is flexible. Annual fee rates for this project are:
*UK/EU nationals: £14,000
Non-EU nationals: £26,500
There is potential to commence in January 2016 if this suits the successful candidate.
Please direct applications in the following format to Dr Handrean Soran: [email protected]
• Academic CV
• Official academic transcripts
• Contact details for two suitable referees
• A personal statement (750 words maximum) outlining your suitability for the study, what you hope to achieve from the PhD and your research experience to date
• Evidence of funding
Any enquiries relating to the project and/or suitability should be directed to Dr Soran. Applications are invited on an on-going basis but early expression of interest is encouraged.