PhD Studentship: Imaging Disease Progression in Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

University of Birmingham - School of Biosciences

Incidence of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is dramatically increasing alongside increasing obesity rates. NAFLD covers a range of disease states, from benign steatosis to the most severe non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). There is currently no strategy for predicting disease progress.

The aim of the project is to apply mass spectrometry imaging of two proteins biomarkers in order to understand progression of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and to develop a strategy to enable clinicians to determine at an early stage which patients will develop NASH and therefore benefit from early intervention.

We have developed an analytical approach, liquid extraction surface analysis (LESA) mass spectrometry, for analysis of two protein biomarkers of NAFLD directly from fresh frozen liver tissue that enables us to determine their ratio. LESA mass spectrometry imaging of thin sections of tissue, in which an array of LESA mass spectra are collected, allows us to determine the spatial location of proteins. The project will use LESA mass spectrometry and LESA mass spectrometry imaging to determine relative concentrations and spatial profiling of the biomarkers, and thus build a predictive model of disease progression, which will be translated to serum samples, a more clinically accessible sample type.

Deadline 11pm Sunday 28th May 2017.

By this date you should have checked you eligibility, applied on-line and completed the IMPACT proforma at

For further Details please contact

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Midlands of England