ARUK Centre of Excellence in Biomechanics and Bioengineering: Novel Biomarkers for Arthritis (PhD Studentship)
Reference Number: R985
Key Studentship Information
This is a Cardiff University President's Research Scholarship, part of a new £4M investment to coincide with the inauguration of Professor Sir Martin Evans (Nobel Prize for Medicine 2007) as Cardiff’s new President. All of the University Schools and Research Centres offering opportunities under the programme have demonstrated the real potential of the Scholarships to contribute to research excellence through significant, challenging and original PhD research projects and excellent PhD supervision and support. Other attractive features of the Scholarships include the presence of multiple President’s Scholars in each of the research areas and the guaranteed exposure of President’s Scholars to innovative technologies, theories, methodological approaches, and debates. More information on the President's Research Scholarships scheme is available on our website.
Project Title: Novel Biomarkers for Arthritis
Project Description: Diagnostic assays based on biomarkers of disease are an important tool in patient diagnosis and stratification for treatment as well as evaluation of disease progression and treatment efficacy. Very few indicators for arthritis are currently available to inform the clinician. The overarching aim of this project is to establish sensitive and robust immunoassays for detection of novel epitopes generated as a consequence of aberrant mechanical loading, inflammation and tissue repair responses and evaluate their potential in longitudinal assessment of disease progression in osteoarthritis patients.
There is substantial evidence that post-translational modifications of proteins, particularly in joint tissues, are directly linked to disease processes. Disease-specific protein modifications may therefore provide a sensitive indicator of disease, as exemplified by citrullinated peptides in rheumatoid arthritis and deamidated gliadin peptides in celiac disease (1,2). Changes in postranslational modifications of proteins are linked to altered intracellular protein trafficking and less frequently, to aberrant extracellular enzymatic reactions (3). This PhD project will investigate the regulation of protein export/endocytic recirculation with an emphasis on identification of qualitative alterations that are unique to degenerative joint pathologies, and on gaining a molecular understanding of the role of such protein modifications in disease development and progression.
The successful applicant will join an international team of researchers in a Center of Excellence for Arthritis Research and have access to state-of–the art technology to address research questions and to long-standing expertise in research translation.
1. Hadjivassiliouu et al., 2010. Lancet Neurol 9, 318-330
2. Thomas et al., 2013. Amino Acids 44, 161-177
3. Al Soraj, et al., 2012. J. Control Release 161, 132-41
Supervisors: Professor Daniel Aeschlimann (Matrix Biology & Tissue Repair Research Unit, School of Dentistry) and Dr Arwyn Jones (Drug delivery and Microbiology Group, School of Pharmacy).
The award includes full UK/EU tuition fees plus a doctoral stipend matching UK Research Council National Minimum (£13,590 p.a. for 2012/13, updated each year).
Funding for conference attendance, national / international collaborations and training courses for specific experimental techniques is available in principal. This will be decided on a case by case basis and is performance linked.
Academic Criteria: The successful candidate will have a first class BSc degree or MSc degree.
The candidate is expected to have a degree in a science subject such as biochemistry, chemistry, pharmacy, cell biology or molecular biology. Candidates with previous experience in a research laboratory environment will be given priority.
Residency: Open to all UK/EU students without further restrictions and International students at UK/EU rate only. successful international students will be required to fund the remainder of the tuition fees from another source.
How to Apply
This is now closed.
For more information please contact Professor Daniel Aeschlimann or AeschlimannDP@Cardiff.ac.uk or 029 2074 4240.