Applications are invited for 4-year PhD studentship based in the Department of Pharmacology, University of Cambridge and the new AstraZeneca Discovery Centre in Cambridge. The student will be working on a collaborative project jointly supervised by Prof. Ewan St. John Smith (Pharmacology) and Dr John Linley at AstraZeneca and will have opportunity to work across the two sites. The project is entitled Mining the microbiome: how do gut microbes modulate visceral pain?
Visceral pain affects millions of people worldwide, poses a significant economic burden, and affects the most intimate activities of daily living. Treatment for chronic pain is inadequate due to inefficacy and/or drug side effects, a problem that is particularly acute in visceral pain because many commonly used drugs have gastrointestinal side effects. There is growing evidence for the role of the gut microbiome in the modulation of visceral pain, via both direct effects of microbial mediators on sensory neurons and indirect effects via immune cell activation. The aim of this project will be to investigate the cellular mechanisms by which human gut microbes modulate visceral pain using functional recordings from pain sensing neurons, nerves and in vivo behavioural experiments in models of visceral pain. Candidates will be trained in a variety of techniques including cell culture, electrophysiology, Ca2+-imaging and animal behaviour and results generated will provide mechanistic insight into the microbiome-gut-brain axis, as well as an insight into phenotypic drug discovery.
We hypothesise that a plethora of microbial mediators that modulate sensory neuron activity remain to be discovered and that systematic study could lead to new therapeutic avenues for the treatment of visceral pain.
Candidate We are looking for a highly motivated and enthusiastic individual capable of thinking and working independently. Applicants should have or shortly expect to obtain a first or upper second-class degree from a UK university, or an equivalent standard from an overseas university, in a relevant subject such as neuroscience, pharmacology or a broader biology degree. These positions are open to UK citizens or overseas students who meet the UK residency requirements (home fees) or are able to augment the funds to cover the extra costs associated with international student fees through scholarships or funding schemes. Full details of the University's entrance requirements and scholarships are specified on the following link: https: // www. postgraduate.study.cam.ac.uk/
Funding Full funding covering Maintenance fees at £21,500 per annum and the University Composition Fee is provided for the studentship, with effect from 1 October 2024.
Application process All applications will need to be made through the University Application Portal: www. graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/courses/directory/blphpdphc/apply Please note that the course code for PhD applications to Pharmacology is BLPH22. Your online application will need to include: - Two academic references - Academic transcripts - CV - Statement of interest
Deadline Deadline for applications is 31st October 2023. Interviews will take place via Zoom in November 2023.
If you have any questions about this vacancy or the application process, please contact Jenny Baptista ([email protected]).
Please quote reference PL38499 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.
The University actively supports equality, diversity and inclusion and encourages applications from all sections of society.
The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.Further information
Department of Pharmacology, Central CambridgeReference
15 September 2023Closing date
31 October 2023