|Funding for:||UK Students, EU Students, International Students|
|Funding amount:||£17,668 Bursary equivalent to UKRI national minimum stipend plus fees|
|Placed On:||3rd February 2023|
|Closes:||23rd February 2023|
3 Year, full-time PhD studentship
Eligibility: Home UK/EU and International applicants
Bursary p.a: Bursary equivalent to UKRI national minimum stipend plus fees (current 2022/23 bursary rate is £17,668)
University fees and bench fees: University fees and bench fees will be met by the University for the 3 years of the funded Studentship. Visa and associated costs are not funded. International applicants can visit https://www.brookes.ac.uk/students/isat/ for further information.
Interviews: Provisionally 13, 14 March 2023
Start date: September 2023
Director of Studies: Dr Alison Forhead
Other Supervisors: Dr Priya Samuel, Dr Laura Gathercole
Applicants should have a first or upper second-class honours degree from a Higher Education Institution in the UK or acceptable equivalent qualification. Non-UK Applicants must have a valid IELTS Academic test certificate (or equivalent) with an overall minimum score of 7.0 and no score below 6.0 issued in the last 2 years by an approved test centre.
There is an additional requirement to undertake up to 6 hours undergraduate teaching/week during semesters and to participate in a teaching skills course without further remuneration.
Extracellular vesicles contain mRNA and protein which can be transferred as signals between cells. During pregnancy, extracellular vesicles may be an important form of communication between the mother and fetus. They may contribute to the control of normal fetal growth and development, the response to intrauterine stress, and the preparation for, and timing of, delivery. Parturition is activated by the fetal hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and cortisol is important for promoting maturation of the fetus and survival of the neonate at birth. The role of extracellular vesicles in these processes is, however, unclear.
This project will characterise the profiles of extracellular vesicles from maternal and fetal circulations in an animal model. It will examine the effect of gestational age, rising cortisol concentrations and suboptimal intrauterine conditions on the genomic and proteomic content of extracellular vesicles in the mother and fetus.
Key techniques used will include extraction and quantification of extracellular vesicles in plasma samples, flow cytometry, electron microscopy, mRNA and protein extraction, and bioinformatic analysis of genomic and proteomic data. Gene and protein pathways relevant to the development of key tissues such as the fetal lungs, the parturition cascade, and stress responses will be examined in particular. The findings will further our understanding of the role of extracellular vesicles in the mechanisms underlying fetal maturation and parturition, and the effects of intrauterine stress.
Contact: Dr Alison Forhead, email@example.com
Advertised competitively alongside our current PhD studentship advertisements for Biological and Medical Sciences.
How to apply: Applicants should visit the project webpage Role of extracellular vesicles in maternal- fetal communication and the preparation for birth to download instructions on how to submit an online application.
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