AZ funded Non-clinical PhD Studentship in a research project "Investigate the mechanistic link between chronic kidney disease and cardiac dysfunction" (Fixed Term)

University of Cambridge
October 01, 2023
Offerd Salary:£21,500
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Contract Type:Other
Working Time:Negotigation
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AZ funded Non-clinical PhD Studentship in a research project "Investigate

the mechanistic link between chronic kidney disease and cardiac dysfunction" (Fixed Term)

Applications are invited for 4-year PhD studentship based in the new Victor Phillip Dahdaleh Heart & Lung Research Institute (VPD-HLRI), University of Cambridge and the new AstraZeneca Discovery Centre at Cambridge. The student will be working on a collaborative project jointly supervised by Dr Xuan Li (UoC, https: // www. and Dr Kevin Woollard & Dr Weike Bao (AstraZeneca) and will have opportunity to work across the two sites in several locations (Cambridge UK, Gaithersburg USA, Gothenburg Sweden). The new HLRI Research Institute and the new AstraZeneca Discovery Center provide an exceptional and cutting-edge research environment that promotes collaborative and interdisciplinary research, with state-of-art facilities, are housed on Cambridge Biomedical Campus, adjacent to the Royal Papworth Hospital (one of the world's leading cardiothoratic hospitals). The project will employ collaborative approaches to maximise the output in both academia and industry.

This project will study the mechanisms underlying chronic inflammation in cardiorenal disease. Our work has shown that dysfunctional microtubules lead to cardiomyocyte contractile malfunction and heart failure (PMID: 34040253, Altmetric impact 856), an emerging research topic. This project will use multidisciplinary approaches (biochemistry, cell biology, human induced pluripotent stem cell and etc.) to investigate the regulation of microtubule- dependent mechanisms in cardiorenal diseases.

Relevant publications related to this project include: MARK4 controls ischaemic heart failure through microtubule detyrosination. Yu et al., Nature. 2021 Jun;594(7864):560-565; Chronic kidney disease mediates cardiac dysfunction associated with increased resident cardiac macrophages. Mawhin et al., BMC Nephrol. 2022 Jan 28;23(1):47.


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 Biological Science and Medical Science. 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 (e.g. Gates Cambridge or Cambridge Trust). Full details of the University's entrance requirements and scholarships are specified on the following link: https: // www.


Full funding covering Maintenance fees at £21,500 per annum and the University Composition Fee (at home fee level) is provided for the studentship, with effect from 1 October 2024.

All applications should be made online via the University's Applicant Portal for a PhD in Medicine:https: // www., where you can also find full eligibility and course details.

Informal enquiries can be sent to Dr Xuan Li ([email protected])


A completed application must be submitted by October 1st. An application is only complete when all the supporting documents, including the 2 academic references, are submitted. It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure their referees submit their references before the closing date.

Interview date TBC

Student support and training

As a graduate student at Cambridge, you will have access to a wide range of training opportunities and benefit from close supervision provided by a primary and secondary PhD supervisor as well as a personal mentor.

During their PhD, there is no taught or examined coursework, but students are encouraged to attend the wide variety of lectures and training courses available to them across the Institute and wider University. This includes a centrally run Statistics course and the University Core Skills Training Programme, which includes sessions on Time Management, Presentation and Performance and Scientific Writing. Students at the Institute will be members of the University's Postgraduate School of Life Sciences (PSLS) who offer a wide variety of core skills and professional development training. Visit the Researcher Development page on the PSLS website for more information. In addition, the student can also take advantage of training courses and seminars in therapeutic sciences offered by Cambridge Academy of Therapeutic Sciences.

All students are expected to attend all internal and external seminars held within Cambridge cardiovascular community ( https: // www. seminars) and the Dept of Medicine. Students will also be encouraged to attend and present at the annual AstraZeneca students symposium.

Please quote reference RC38230 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. We place major emphasis on the importance of team work and an enjoyable work environment as a foundation for performing internationally leading research. This will allow the student to acquire cutting edge research methodologies in a supportive environment, where they can focus on making the best possible scientific progress.


Department of Medicine






25 August 2023

Closing date

1 October 2023

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