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Postgraduate research project

Elucidating the molecular pathways through which an unhealthy diet contributes to sight loss

Fully funded (UK only)
Type of degree
Doctor of Philosophy
Entry requirements
2:1 degree (View full entry requirements)
Faculty graduate school
Faculty of Medicine
Closing date

About the project

Applications are invited for an exciting new PhD studentship funded by Sight Research UK. Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a complex blinding disease, where a combination of genetic and non-genetic risk factors, such as an unhealthy diet, results in the irreversible loss of central vision. The project builds on our published work to elucidate the molecular pathways of damage to the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) and associated tissues in the outer retina.

The student will use a combination of in-vitro cell as well as mouse models and must be willing to work with mice. Techniques such as cell and molecular biology, histology, biochemistry as well as imaging will be used for the project. Non-invasive retinal scans will also be obtained from living mice.

Potential discoveries could provide new information on diet-induced disease pathways in the retina that predisposes individuals to AMD, and whether such effects could be reversed through better nutrition. This knowledge could also inform public health campaigns, thereby help reduce the burden of sight-impairment and blindness in the UK.

The successful applicant will join a dynamic research team consisting of undergraduate/postgraduate research students and postdocs. The candidate is expected to be highly motivated with an excellent work ethic.

The project is full-time for 3 years (36 months) from 1 October 2022 to 30 September 2025. You'll be based at University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust.

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