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PhD Studentship – NIHR Newcastle Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) – Postdiagnosis Physical Activity and Hepatocellular Carcinoma Outcomes

Newcastle University

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Newcastle upon Tyne
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students, International Students
Funding amount: £18,622
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 5th February 2024
Closes: 15th March 2024
Reference: TC085

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

A higher level of physical activity before a hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) diagnosis is associated with a reduced risk of HCC-specific death. Our own preclinical studies provide biological plausibility by which physical activity may improve HCC outcomes in people with MASLD, including reversal of hepatic steatosis, reduced oxidative damage, and resolution of liver inflammation.17 Therefore, we hypothesize that higher levels of physical activity after a HCC diagnosis will be associated with improved survival outcomes.   

Recent advancements in wearable technology provides additional information about the volume, pattern, and variability of ambulatory activity. This information may be important because spatiotemporal gait characteristics, such as lower gait speed and higher variability of walking patterns, are associated with higher risk of mortality. It can also allow for stratifying patients needing targeted rehabilitation.     

Aims 

Primary aim 

  • Determine the association between postdiagnosis physical activity and HCC outcomes (progression-free survival, overall survival, fitness for second-line therapy).  

Secondary aims 

  • Explore the association between attributes of walking (volume, pattern, variability) and HCC outcomes. 
  • Estimate the shape of the dose-response relationship between postdiagnosis physical activity and HCC outcomes. 
  • Assess the agreement between device-based physical activity and self-reported physical activity. 

Number Of Awards

1

Start Date

September 2024

Award Duration

36 months

Application Closing Date

15 March 2024

Sponsor

NIHR Newcastle BRC 

Supervisors

Dr Sam Orange 

Professor Helen Reeves 

Dr Lisa Alcock 

Dr Silvia Del Din 

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 ‘8854F’ in ‘Course Title’, blank in ‘Research Area’. Press ‘Search’, select ‘PhD in biomedical, nutrition and sport sciences (TCRI) FT’, and save selection. 

Either upload a document or write into ‘Personal Statement’. Put code ‘TC085’ 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. Please upload a covering letter, CV and 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

sam.orange@newcastle.ac.uk 

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