|UK Students, EU Students, International Students
|8th December 2023
|12th January 2024
The AIM (Advanced Inter-Disciplinary Models) DTP is funded by the MRC between three Partners – the Universities of Birmingham, Leicester and Nottingham – and three more Associate Partners – the Research Complex at Harwell, Mary Lyon Centre and Rosalind Franklin Institute. We have a range of exciting and diverse PhD 4-year projects at all 3 partner Institutions which are now open for a September 2024 start and those available at The University of Nottingham are detailed below.
Projects with an industry partner (iCASE projects) offer a unique opportunity to undertake translational research and come with a mandatory placement requirement and an enhanced stipend.
Full information about funding of these projects and application details, including application form plus Equality, diversity and inclusion form are available at https://more.bham.ac.uk/mrc-aim/phd-opportunities/.
The deadline for submitting applications is 12.00 am GMT, Friday, 12 January 2024. Interviews will take place during the week commencing 26 February and will be held via Zoom.
Applicants must hold, or be about to obtain, a First or Upper Second class UK honours degree, or the equivalent qualifications gained outside the UK, in a relevant subject. A master’s qualification in a related area could be beneficial, as could additional relevant research experience.
School of Medicine
Project Title: Functionalised contact lenses for the topical delivery of cell therapies to treat chronic ocular surface inflammatory conditions
Supervisors: Laura Sidney, email@example.com
Felicity de Cogan (UoN), Anna Peacock (UoB), Darren Ting (UoN)
Ocular surface disease is a significant cause of blindness. Current treatments relying on repeat dosing of steroids show poor levels of patient compliance. Alternative treatments such as corneal or amniotic membrane transplantation require complex surgery. This gives a clear unmet clinical need to address in this project.
In this project the student will develop a novel cell therapy using mesenchymal stromal cells applied to the eye via a modified contact lens. The cells respond to the wounded environment to deliver signalling molecules that cause anti-inflammatory action and wound healing.
The project will cover 4 main objectives: 1) Working with industrial partners to generate and characterise a contact lens functionalised with synthetic peptides to allow cell attachment; 2) Assessing the effect of the functionalised contact lens on the metabolism and phenotypes of stem cells in tissue culture; 3) Building an ex vivo inflammation model of the ocular surface; 4) Assessing the efficacy of the functionalised contact lens in the ex vivo model. It is a wet-lab project incorporating methodologies from chemistry, materials science, molecular biology, human tissue handling and high-throughput protein assays and will provide the student with training in many different translational skills.
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