Can retinal Autofluorescence be used as a non-invasive marker of outer retinal dysfunction in diabetic retinopathy
*SUBJECT TO FUNDING*
Retinal auto fluorescence (AF) imaging has attracted much interest over the past 20 years as it provides an non-invasive method of assessing the accumulation of lipofuscin in the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE). Lipofuscin is a pigment that accumulates in the RPE during aging as a result of incomplete degradation of photoreceptor outer segments and is thought to mediate cell damage and senescence. Patterns of increased and decreased retinal AF have been observed in a variety of retinal diseases including diabetic retinopathy. However its clinical application has been hampered by the difficulty in making between-person comparisons due to the impact of ocular media changes not related to the retina on the absolute values. Recently a method has been incorporated within the commercially available Heidelberg Spectralis Scanning Laser Ophthalmoscopy that enables quantitative AF to be captured making cross-sectional comparisons more feasible. This project will investigate the relationship between qAF and both ageing and diabetic retinopathy to establish if qAF imaging could be used as clinical biomarker of outer retinal dysfunction in the development of Diabetic Retinopathy.
Candidates should have or expect to obtain a 2:1 or higher Honours degree or equivalent in a relevant biomedical or life sciences subject.
Candidates applying from countries where the first language is not English should produce evidence of their competence through a qualification such as IELTS or TOEFL score.
The minimum recommended score for the School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Science is:
• IELTS score of 6.0 with not less than 5.5 in each of the four component elements of listening, reading, speaking and writing taken within the last 2 years;
• TOEFL score of 80+ (internet basted test), taken within the last 2 years, with minimum component scores of; Listening 17, Reading 18, Speaking 20, Writing 17);
• A valid Certificate of Proficiency in English grade A or B;
• A valid Certificate of Advanced English grade A; or
• A first or upper second class honours degree from a university based in the UK, Republic of Ireland or other suitably quality assured location in a country deemed by the UK Border Agency to be majority English speaking.
For a list of English Language qualifications also accepted by the School and University please see the following link:
The English Language Unit (ELU) offers both pre-sessional and in-sessional courses in English for academic purposes and study skills. Courses vary in length and full information can be obtained from the ELU http://www.qub.ac.uk/tefl/
*SUBJECT TO FUNDING*
DEL Research Studentships
Eligibility for both fees and maintenance (£14,057 for 2015/16, 2016/17 TBC) depends on the applicants being either an ordinary UK resident or those EU residents who have lived permanently in the UK for the 3 years immediately preceding the start of the studentship.
Non UK residents who hold EU residency may also apply but if successful may receive fees only.
For further details re eligibility criteria (including academic, citizenship and residency criteria) please click on the following link: http://www.delni.gov.uk/index/further-and-higher-education/higher-education/studentfinance/he-student-info-postgrad-finance.htm
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When applying, please choose 'MEDICINE' as your subject area/School.