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PhD Studentship Opportunity: Immuno-Metabolism and Multi-Omics Analysis of Aging and Senescence

University of Surrey

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Guildford
Funding for: UK Students
Funding amount: £15,609
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 12th October 2021
Closes: 19th November 2021
Reference: PGR-2122-007

This specific project partners with Waters and aims to investigate environmental (external/epigenetic) and physiological factors contributing to healthy aging and potentially those leading to a general decline in the ability of the immune system to mount efficient responses in the face of aging related pathophysiology, such as cancer or infection.

Immune senescence encompasses various events as an individual ages and which ultimately weakens the immune system to fight foreign pathogens or efficiently target tumour cells. This studentship aims at re-exploring the notion of senescence, specifically T cell senescence, using a new approach by analysing the metabolic wiring, multi ‘omic profiling and alterations occurring in T cells, and their triggers as they become senescent.

Using both cellular and primary, clinical samples, you will be able to explore and decipher how T cells are triggered to become senescent; and how these ‘triggers’ alter the metabolic profiles of T cells leading to their senescence.

You will be able to explore the associated altered immune-metabolic pathways using deep single cell analysis with access to single cell analysis, advanced imaging, latest available spectral flow cytometry and multi ‘omic analysis. You will also benefit from state-of-the-art platforms and facilities available at the University of Surrey in the fields of cancer, infection, nutrition, metabolomic analysis and cell phenotype analysis.

The project will be performed and benefits from key international collaborations and my undertaking research time at Waters mass spectrometry HQ in Wilmslow near Manchester, UK.

Supervisors: Prof Paul A. Townsend and Olivier NF. Cexus.

A 3-year fully funded University CASE studentship (with the potential for a 4th year additional funding) and is open to applicants worldwide.

More information on the School of Biosciences and Medicine.

Entry requirements

A First or Upper Second-Class Honours degree from the UK (or equivalent qualification from international Institutions) in a relevant subject area.

How to apply

Applications should be submitted via the online application portal for Biosciences and Medicine PhDs. Please state clearly the project that you are applying for and your supervisor.


UKRI-aligned stipend (£15,609 pa for 2021-22), approved University of Surrey fees and a research budget.

Application enquiries

We encourage informal enquiries to be sent to Prof Paul A. Townsend ( and/or Dr Olivier NF. Cexus ( and/or Dr Lee Gethings (

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