EPSRC DTP PhD Studentship - Applying analytical methodologies to identify accessible biomarkers of skeletal muscle development

Vacancy Reference Number
Closing Date
20 Jul 2020
Tax-free stipend of £15,285 p/a plus tuition fees at the UK/EU rate
School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences, Loughborough University
3.5 Years from Oct 2020

Applications are invited to complete a PhD project to further understand the role of biological messaging in skeletal muscle development. This will be achieved through the application of mass spectrometry-based ‘omics techniques (e.g. proteomics, metabolomics) to understand the biological composition of skeletal muscle cell-derived extracellular vesicles.

You will be provided with a unique opportunity to work with prominent academics within this field and alongside a globally leading vendor in mass spectrometry instrumentation (Waters). The project will provide skill development across multiple scientific remits including, cell biology, biochemistry, analytical chemistry and data science.

The approaches used within this project will offer an excellent base for a future career in science and technology. Maintaining skeletal muscle health is vital for locomotion and energy homeostasis. From our thirties, we lose muscle mass at 3-5% per decade which has considerable implications for musculoskeletal health and is associated with the onset of debilitating degenerative conditions. Recent research shows that cell-derived nanoparticles termed 'extracellular vesicles' contain numerous growth factors and molecules implicated in the modulation of skeletal muscle production. However, the current understanding on the contribution of extracellular vesicles during muscle adaptation, ageing and degeneration remains limited. In this project you will apply in-house protocols for the isolation of EVs from skeletal muscle biopsies from healthy and aged donors, as well as ‘exercise-simulated’ cell cultures. The collected EVs will be subject to state-of-the-art analytical techniques to provide a comprehensive understanding of the protein, lipid and metabolite content. These analyses will comprise the main body of research within the PhD project and will be carried out in collaboration with the project partner, Waters.

Further Information

Entry Requirements:

Applicants should have, or expect to achieve, at least a 2:1 Honours degree (or equivalent) in biology, biochemistry, biomedical sciences or a related subject. A relevant Master’s degree and/or knowledge/experience in one or more of the following will be an advantage: cell biology, bioanalysis (chromatography and/or mass spectrometry).

How to apply:

All applications should be made online at http://www.lboro.ac.uk/study/apply/research/. Under programme name, select “School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences”.

Please quote reference number: SSEHS/LH
Start date of studentship: 01 October 2020
Closing date of advert: 20 July 2020
Interview date: August 2020

Funding notes:

Starting in October 2020, the studentship is for 3.5 years and provides a tax-free stipend of £15,285 p/a plus tuition fees at the UK/EU rate. To qualify for this full award, all applicants must meet the EPSRC eligibility criteria including the UK residency requirement.

For more information on eligibility please see: https://epsrc.ukri.org/skills/students/guidance-on-epsrc-studentships/eligibility/

Contact Details

Dr Liam Heaney: L.M.Heaney2@Lboro.ac.uk