The objective of this PhD project is to assess the impact of total body irradiation and stem cell transplant on adipose tissue characteristics, gene expression, DNA methylation, miroRNA array and implications on cardiometabolic risk factors.
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.
Patients undergone haemopoeitic stem cell transplant are at an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. However, there is no comprehensive information on the effect of this treatment on adipose tissue characteristics. Understanding epigenetic modifications in these patients, including DNA methylation, circulating miRNA profile, and its effect on adipose tissue gene expression is important. This is an exciting new research area and can potentially identify novel therapeutic targets and treatment strategies for cardiovascular risk, dyslipidaemia and diabetes.
In the proposed project, we will examine DNA methylation, miRNAs, gene expression profiles and the impact of these on adipose tissue characteristics, cardiovascular risk and metabolic derangements in patients undergoing haemopoeitic stem cell transplant, compared with age and sex matched controls.
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, and cardiometabolic disorders. The project is suitable for scientists, biochemists or clinicians interested in diabetes, cardiovascular genetics 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 the study 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.