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Understanding how age and gender influence the development of Alzheimer’s disease

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Self-Funded PhD Students Only
    Self-Funded PhD Students Only

Project Description

Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive, incurable, neurodegenerative disease. It is characterised by increasing memory loss and is associated with very high socioeconomic costs. Current treatments only affect the symptoms and eventually stop working, thus new therapies are urgently needed. However, to identify new targets for potential drugs, we need to understand more about how the disease is caused. The most important risk factor for developing Alzheimer’s disease is age but we do not understand how increasing age causes this disease. A second important risk factor is being female as about 63% of people with Alzheimer’s disease are women. Again, the relationship between gender and disease development is poorly understood. This project thus seeks to understand the inter-relationship between age and gender and the development of Alzheimer’s disease. The project aims to determine firstly the importance of age and gender for the expression of a variety of proteins in pathways implicated in the development of Alzheimer’s disease such as oestrogen receptor signalling. Human brain samples from men and women of different ages and from people with Alzheimer’s disease and healthy age-matched controls will be used. The second aim is to understand how changes in oestrogen receptor signalling can influence the production of several proteins crucial to the development of Alzheimer’s disease in neuronal-like cells and in neurones derived from people with and without Alzheimer’s disease. Potentially these studies could identify novel targets for the development of drugs to treat this debilitating disease.

Outline of techniques:
Ex vivo and in vitro: To include Western blotting and ELISA; immunohistochemistry of brain tissues with microscope based analysis; immortalised and primary cell culture and differentiation; reporter assays; receptor pharmacology; siRNA; qRT-PCR

Funding Notes

The academic entry requirement is the equivalent of an upper second class Honours degree in a related science subject. If English is not your first language, you will need an overall score of 6.5 in IELTS, for further information about English Language qualifications please see View Website

This PhD project is open to applicants with a requirement for bench fees of £15000 per annum. For information about tuition fees, please see View Website

Applications are welcomed from self-funded students and students seeking their own funding from external sources.

Related Subjects

How good is research at Cardiff University in Allied Health Professions, Dentistry, Nursing and Pharmacy?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 74.95

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

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