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Funded PhD Opportunity

Can anthocyanin rich diets (red raspberries) reverse the microvascular pathological changes and cognitive decline observed in the APP/PS-1 transgenic model of Alzheimer’s disease?

Subject: Biomedical Sciences


Summary

Disruption and deregulation of the microvascular architecture is a common pathogenic mechanism in the progression of numerous chronic diseases including cardiovascular disease cancer and Alzheimer’s disease (AD). A direct relationship can be readily observed between microvascular pathology and cognitive decline1,2.

Of significant interest in this regard, are recent micro-vascular casting studies in a murine model of Alzheimer’s which demonstrated that treatment with the drug liraglutide can return microvascular pathology to a wild-type state and improve cognition3,4. Berries have positive effects on aspects of cognition that cannot be fully explained by effects on either neurogenesis or inflammation5,6.

Given the anti-angiogenic activity of berry polyphenols, it is probable that raspberry polyphenols could ameliorate cerebral microvascular pathology and as a result improve cognition. To address this question, we will determine whether a diet rich in raspberries can reverse the microvascular pathological changes, beta-amyloid plaque formation and cognitive decline observed in the APP/PS-1 transgenic model of Alzheimer’s disease.

References

[1] Bouras et al  (2006). J Neuropathol Exp Neurol 65 235–244.

[2] Kitaguchi  et al (2007)  Neurosci Lett 417,128–131.

[3] Kelly et al (2015)  Microcirculation 22, 133-45.

[4] McClean  et al  (2011). J. Neurosci 31, 6587-6594.

[5] Carey et al (2017). Nutr Neurosci 20,:238-245

[6] Medda et al  P (2015). Microvasc Res  97, 167-180.


Essential criteria

  • To hold, or expect to achieve by 15 August, an Upper Second Class Honours (2:1) Degree or equivalent from a UK institution (or overseas award deemed to be equivalent via UK NARIC) in a related or cognate field.
  • Sound understanding of subject area as evidenced by a comprehensive research proposal

Desirable Criteria

If the University receives a large number of applicants for the project, the following desirable criteria may be applied to shortlist applicants for interview.

  • First Class Honours (1st) Degree
  • Masters at 65%
  • Research project completion within taught Masters degree or MRES
  • Practice-based research experience and/or dissemination
  • Experience using research methods or other approaches relevant to the subject domain
  • Work experience relevant to the proposed project
  • Publications - peer-reviewed
  • Experience of presentation of research findings
  • A comprehensive and articulate personal statement
  • Relevant professional qualification and/or a Degree in a Health or Health related area

Funding

    The University offers the following awards to support PhD study and applications are invited from UK, EU and overseas for the following levels of support:

    Vice Chancellors Research Studentship (VCRS)

    Full award (full-time PhD fees + DfE level of maintenance grant + RTSG for 3 years).

    This scholarship will cover full-time PhD tuition fees and provide the recipient with £15,000 maintenance grant per annum for three years (subject to satisfactory academic performance). This scholarship also comes with £900 per annum for three years as a research training support grant (RTSG) allocation to help support the PhD researcher.

    Vice-Chancellor’s Research Bursary (VCRB)

    Part award (full-time PhD fees + 50% DfE level of maintenance grant + RTSG for 3 years).

    This scholarship will cover full-time PhD tuition fees and provide the recipient with £7,500 maintenance grant per annum for three years (subject to satisfactory academic performance). This scholarship also comes with £900 per annum for three years as a research training support grant (RTSG) allocation to help support the PhD researcher.

    Vice-Chancellor’s Research Fees Bursary (VCRFB)

    Fees only award (PhD fees + RTSG for 3 years).

    This scholarship will cover full-time PhD tuition fees for three years (subject to satisfactory academic performance). This scholarship also comes with £900 per annum for three years as a research training support grant (RTSG) allocation to help support the PhD researcher.

    Department for the Economy (DFE)

    The scholarship will cover tuition fees at the Home rate and a maintenance allowance of £ 15,009 per annum for three years. EU applicants will only be eligible for the fee’s component of the studentship (no maintenance award is provided). For Non-EU nationals the candidate must be "settled" in the UK. This scholarship also comes with £900 per annum for three years as a research training support grant (RTSG) allocation to help support the PhD researcher.

    Due consideration should be given to financing your studies; for further information on cost of living etc. please refer to: www.ulster.ac.uk/doctoralcollege/postgraduate-research/fees-and-funding/financing-your-studies


Other information


The Doctoral College at Ulster University


Reviews

My experience has been great and the people that I have worked with have been amazing

Kieran O'Donnell - 3D printing of biological cells for tissue engineering applications

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Completing the MRes provided me with a lot of different skills, particularly in research methods and lab skills.

Michelle Clements Clements - MRes - Life and Health Sciences

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Throughout my PhD I’ve been provided with continuous support and guidance by my supervisors and the staff at the University.I’ve also received many opportunities to further enhance my professional development in the form of teaching experience and presenting my work at conferences which will aid in my pursuit of a career in academia or industry.

William Crowe


Key dates

Submission deadline
Monday 18 February 2019

Interview Date
Weeks commencing 11, 18, 25 March 2019


Applying

Apply Online  


Campus

Coleraine campus

Coleraine campus
The feeling of community at our Coleraine campus makes for a warm and welcoming student experience.


Contact supervisor

Professor Christopher Mitchell


Other supervisors

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