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PhD Studentship – NIHR Newcastle Biomedical Research Centre – Morphology of Skeletal Muscle Across the Lifecourse

Newcastle University

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Newcastle upon Tyne
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students, International Students
Funding amount: 100% tuition fees (paid at home rate) and a minimum annual stipend of £18,622 (2023/ 2024 UKRI rate) with support for research costs. International candidates will be required to fund the difference between the home and international fees
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 2nd February 2024
Closes: 15th March 2024
Reference: TC088

Award Summary

100% tuition fees (paid at home rate) and a minimum annual stipend of £18,622 (2023/ 2024 UKRI rate) with support for research costs. International candidates will be required to fund the difference between the home and international fees. 

Overview

Sarcopenia is a common health problem in older adults which can impair their ability to function independently. To find effective treatments for sarcopenia we need to have deeper understanding of the structure of skeletal muscle and how it changes with age.  

By staining muscle fibers with different colours that attach to muscle proteins and microscopic structures within the fibers, it is possible to detect fibre types, and to understand how fiber number and size changes as we age across different age groups and genders. With even more advanced techniques it is also possible to detect other changes with ageing such as molecular changes that make muscle fibers sensitive to ageing. This knowledge will be very important for designing clinical trials for patients and older adults with sarcopenia. We are developing new treatments by designing early clinical studies called a platform for sarcopenia trials that can test the value of several treatments at the same time.  

This PhD will support our programme of sarcopenia research, including our trials. The PhD student will use different laboratory techniques to investigate a small portion of leg muscle from participants in the MASS Lifecourse Study (aged 18 to 85 years). They will learn about changes in muscle fiber, number, size, type, and other characteristics and compare them between different age groups and genders. These structural characteristics of muscle will be then compared with measures of muscle function such as hand grip strength and walking. 

Number Of Awards: 1

Start Date: September 2024

Award Duration: 36 months

Application Closing Date: 15 March 2024

Sponsor: NIHR Newcastle Biomedical Research Centre 

Supervisors

Dr Antoneta Granic 

Professor Avan Sayer 

Dr Davina de Camargo Madeira Simoes 

Dr Karen Sutterlin 

Eligibility Criteria

You must have or be expected to gain a minimum 2:1 Honours degree or international equivalent in a subject relevant to the proposed PhD project. A master’s qualification will be advantageous. 

Applicants whose first language is not English require an IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in each subsection. International applicants may require an ATAS clearance certificate prior to obtaining their visa and to study on this programme.  

How To Apply

You must apply through the University’s Apply to Newcastle Portal 

In ‘Course choice’ tab, put ‘Postgraduate Research’ in 'Type of Study', ‘Full Time’ in ‘Mode of Study’, ‘2024’ in ‘Year of Entry’, code ‘8440F’ in ‘Course Title’, blank in ‘Research Area’. Press ‘Search’, select ‘PhD Translational and Clinical Research (FT)’, and save selection. 

Either upload a document or write into ‘Personal Statement’. Put code ‘TC088’ in ‘Studentship/Partnership Reference’. When prompted for research proposal, select ‘Write Proposal’. Type in the title of the research project from this advert. A research proposal is not required. You can also upload a covering letter and CV, please state how your interests and experience relate to the project.  

Degree transcripts/certificates and, if English is not your first language, a copy of your English language qualification if completed must be uploaded.  

Contact Details: antoneta.granic@newcastle.ac.uk 

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