PhD Studentship in Deep Phenotyping: Understanding the Effect of Exercise on Mitochondrial Disease Patients

Newcastle University - Wellcome Centre for Mitochondrial Research (WCMR)

Value of award

This studentship covers UK/EU fees plus an annual stipend at Research Council rates (£14,553 for 2017-18). Successful international candidates will be required to make up the difference between the UK/EU fees and international fees.

Number of awards


Start date and duration

September 2018 for 3 years.

Application closing date

Applications accepted until position filled.


Applications are invited from highly qualified and motivated students for PhD training.

This is one of four studentships available in the WCMR. Incoming students will be engaged in research projects that will integrate across the groups within the Centre, offering a vibrant multidisciplinary training environment. The Centre has an excellent track record in training and mentoring both basic and clinical scientists at this level.

An in-depth understanding of cellular mechanisms implicated in mitochondrial dysfunction is key to the development of new therapeutics for mitochondrial disease. The WCMR has previously investigated the effect of exercise on patients with a single, large-scale mitochondrial DNA deletion.

This project aims to characterise the molecular response to exercise and apply these findings to the development of exercise mimetic drugs. The successful candidate will use imaging mass cytometry to perform targeted proteomic studies on participant biopsies to interrogate mitochondrial protein expression and cell signalling pathways, coupled with single-cell mtDNA analysis and fibre typing. The project will aim to correlate molecular and clinical changes, potentially highlighting new therapeutic strategies to treat mitochondrial disease. 

Research activities within the Centre are built on our long standing clinical and scientific expertise in mitochondrial biology and disease, with more than 50 researchers engaged in research projects spanning clinical aspects through diagnosis and gene discovery to fundamental science investigating molecular mechanisms and mitochondrial gene expression.

We are committed to providing the best care for our patients by developing new strategies for preventing or treating mitochondrial disease. This is dependent upon high quality basic and clinical research, to which incoming students will contribute, allowing us to better understand the mechanisms underlying mitochondrial disease.


Newcastle University

Name of supervisor(s)

Dr Oliver Russell, Dr Amy Vincent, Dr Grainne Gorman

Eligibility Criteria

Candidates must have a BSc (Hons) in an appropriate scientific speciality at first or 2:1 level.

The award is available to UK/EU and international applicants.

How to apply

You must apply through the University’s online postgraduate application system. To do this please ‘Create a new account’.

Only mandatory fields need be completed, but must include the following information:

  • insert programme code 8300F in the programme of study section 
  • select ‘PhD in the Faculty of Medical Sciences - Neuroscience' as programme of study 
  • insert studentship code IN097 in the studentship/partnership reference field 
  • attach a covering letter and CV. The covering letter must state the title of the studentship, quote studentship reference IN097and state how your interests and experience relate to the project 
  • attach degree transcripts and certificates and, if English is not your first language, a copy of your English language qualifications.


For further information contact Dr Oliver Russell or Dr Amy Vincent.

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Northern England