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Role of P2X receptors in inflammatory pain (with Astrazeneca, Cambridge) (FOUNTAIN_U19CASE2)

University of East Anglia - Biological Sciences

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Norwich
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students
Funding amount: £14,777 stipend, research costs and tuition fees at UK/EU rate
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 10th October 2018
Closes: 26th November 2018
Reference: FOUNTAIN_U19CASE2

Start date: 1/10/2019

Closing date: 26/11/2018

No. of positions available: 1

Hours: Full-time

Contract: Temporary

Supervisor Sam Fountain

Project description

Inflammatory pain results from the increased excitability of sensory (pain-sensing) neurons produced by the action of inflammatory mediators.  Tissue damage or infection causes activation of tissue resident leukocytes, such as macrophage, which leads to the synthesis and release of inflammatory mediators.  The project will investigate the molecular mechanisms underpinning the role of ATP-gated P2X receptor ion channels in inflammatory pain, focusing of the role of these channels in the activation of human leukocytes and in the sensitisation of sensory neurons.  The project will combine new pharmacological tools available through the collaboration in combination with patch-clamp electrophysiology, calcium imaging, flow cytometry, proteomics and cell isolation techniques to elucidate molecular pathways underlying inflammatory pain and offer novel routes to drug discovery.

We are seeking an enthusiastic and highly motivated individual to join an international recognised research group based within the state-of-the-art Biomedical Research Centre on the Norwich Research Park.  The laboratory is very well funded by the BHF, BBSRC and industrial partners.  We are a highly dynamic group and presentation at domestic and international conferences is encouraged.  This is a collaborative project with AstraZeneca, and the project will include a research placement at the company in Cambridge within the neuroscience division. 

Layhadi JA, Turner JO, Crossman DC and Fountain SJ (2018). ATP evokes Ca2+ responses and CXCL5 secretion via P2X4 receptor activation in human monocyte-derived macrophages.  J Immunology.

Stokes L, Layhadi JA, Bibic L, Dhuna K, Fountain SJ (2017).  P2X4 receptor function in the nervous system and current breakthroughs in pharmacology Frontiers in Pharmacology.

Person Specification UK 2:1 & English Language (6.5 overall, 6 in each section)

Funding notes

For funding eligibility guidance, please visit our website: Full Studentships cover a stipend (UKRI rate: £14,777pa – 2018/9), research costs and tuition fees at UK/EU rate and are available to UK and EU students who meet the UK residency requirements.  

Students from EU countries who do not meet the UK residency requirements may be eligible for a fees-only award. Students in receipt of a fees-only award will be eligible for a maintenance stipend awarded by the NRPDTP Bioscience Doctoral Scholarships. To be eligible students must meet the EU residency requirements. 

This Industrial CASE project has been shortlisted for funding by the Norwich Biosciences Doctoral Training Partnership (NRPDTP). Shortlisted applicants will be interviewed as part of the studentship competition on either the 8th, 9th or 10th January 2019.  

The NRPDTP offers postgraduates the opportunity to undertake a 4 year research project whilst enhancing professional development and research skills through a comprehensive training programme. You will join a vibrant community of world-leading researchers. Students with, or expecting to attain, at least an upper second class honours degree, or equivalent, are invited to apply.  

For further information and to apply, please visit our website:

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