PhD Studentship: Genetic Predisposition to Accelerated Ageing: Targeting Telomeres Using Sex Hormone Supplementation in Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis. MRC GW4 BioMed DTP PhD studentship 2024/25 Entry, PhD in Clinical and Biomedical Sciences.

University of Exeter

The GW4 BioMed2 MRC DTP is providing as much as 22 funded studentships throughout a variety of biomedical disciplines, with a begin date of October 2024.

These four-year studentships present funding for charges and stipend on the charge set by the UK Analysis Councils, in addition to different analysis coaching and help prices, and can be found to UK and Worldwide college students.

Concerning the GW4 BioMed2 Doctoral Coaching Partnership

The partnership brings collectively the Universities of Bathtub, Bristol, Cardiff (lead) and Exeter to develop the subsequent era of biomedical researchers. College students can have entry to the mixed analysis strengths, coaching experience and assets of the 4 research-intensive universities, with alternatives to take part in interdisciplinary and ‘group science’. The DTP already has over 90 studentships over 6 cohorts in its first section, together with 38 college students over 2 cohorts in its second section.

The 80 initiatives out there for software, are aligned to the next themes;

Functions open on 4th September 2023 and shut at 5.00pm on 1st November 2023.

Studentships might be 4 years full time. Half time research can be out there.

Venture Info

Analysis Theme:

Inhabitants Well being Sciences


Lung fibrosis is a devastating illness which causes 1% of UK deaths. On common, sufferers solely survive 2-3 years after analysis. Ageing is a giant danger issue; sufferers usually have unusually quick telomeres, correlating with a discount in intercourse hormone ranges. We’ll examine if boosting hormone ranges would possibly enhance telomere size and cut back illness burden – utilizing knowledge from cutting-edge lab experiments with lung cells, mixed with analyses of affected person genetics.


Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a massively debilitating illness of ageing, which has a dismal prognosis and a 5-year survival of solely 20%. IPF accounts for round 5300 deaths every year (1% of all UK deaths). Present anti-fibrotic medicines are costly (£27k per affected person each year) and solely sluggish illness development, whereas having restricted profit for high quality of life (largely as a consequence of a variety of disagreeable unwanted side effects). New therapies are due to this fact paramount.

This proposal represents a novel alternative to assist set up the mechanism and potential efficacy of utilizing intercourse hormone supplementation as a therapy. The challenge will make use of a strong combinatorial strategy of genetic analyses, entry to affected person samples and cutting-edge in vitro approaches to establish how intercourse hormones could possibly increase telomere size and thereby revert one of many key hallmarks of ageing which can underpin illness growth. This can be a massively thrilling coaching alternative in a variety of cell and molecular organic methods and bioinformatics. It has conceptual buy-in from our devoted affected person and public involvement group (PPIEG), and ongoing liaison with our PPIEG may also be an necessary a part of the challenge.

Work from Dr Anna Duckworth, printed in Lancet Respiratory Medication, supplied proof of a causal function for prematurely-shortened telomeres in IPF utilizing genetic analyses of information from UK Biobank (PMID: 33197388). This means an accelerated ageing course of – partly explaining the mobile senescence seen in fibroblasts/epithelial cells in IPF lungs.

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