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The role of macrophages in extracellular matrix remodelling in human obesity and diabetes

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  • Full or part time
    Dr K Kos
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Self-Funded PhD Students Only
    Self-Funded PhD Students Only

Project Description

The University of Exeter Medical School is seeking to attract self-funded PhD candidates of outstanding ability to join their exciting and rapidly expanding programme of internationally rated research.

Obesity is associated with considerable metabolic complications, including diabetes and about 90% of subjects with Type 2 diabetes are being overweight or obese. About 3.8 million adults in the UK have diabetes at a cost of £10 billion per year to the NHS. Research into diabetes prevention and treatment is much needed. At Exeter we deliver world leading research into adipose tissue and diabetes research. Fat (adipose) tissue stores surplus nutrients delivered to fat cells as triglycerides. With increasing obesity adipose tissue function becomes compromised by limitation of its capacity to take up fatty acids in form of triglycerides. A hallmark of this dysfunction is inflammation and production of surplus inflammatory hormones/cytokines secreted by fat tissue which drive insulin resistance and which limit the uptake of glucose into cells, necessary to maintain normal glucose homeostasis. Macrophages are immune cells which are also found in human fat tissue at increased concentrations in obesity and in dysfunctional fat tissue. With this studentship we propose to study whether high insulin levels as found in subjects with insulin resistance and Type 2 diabetes stimulate macrophages to express genes and modulate factors which contribute to adipose tissue dysfunction. This will increase the understanding of the influence of diabetes on adipose tissue health and immune regulation. The project hopes to identify new pathways in the treatment ofdiabetes to aid in the development of novel therapies.

This project will provide the student with a robust skill set resulting in highly employable skills in molecular biology and allow contribution to cutting edge science of wider significance.

Supervision of this project will be with the adipose tissue biologist Dr Katarina Kos and geneticist Professor Lorna Harries.

Contact name for scientific enquiries: Dr Katarina Kos [email protected]
For any other enquiries please contact: [email protected]

Applicants should be highly motivated and have, or expect to obtain, either a first or upper-second class BSc (or equivalent) in a relevant discipline. International applicants must also have IELTS [International English Language Testing System] score of 7 and above (or equivalent qualification).

Please send a CV, Covering letter (outlining your academic interests, prior research experience and reasons for wishing to undertake the project) and copies of degree transcript (giving full details of subjects studied and grades/marks obtained. This should be an interim transcript if you are still studying) to UEMS Graduate Research: [email protected]

Funding Notes

For some PhD projects, a ‘bench fee’ may apply. Bench fees are project specific and cover additional costs related to consumables, equipment and materials which are not included in the tuition fee. If bench fees do apply this will be notified as part of the application process and will be clearly stated in any offer letter.

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