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14 PhD Degree-Fully Funded at University of Plymouth, England

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University of Plymouth, England invites online Application for number of  Fully Funded PhD Degree at various Departments. We are providing a list of Fully Funded PhD Programs available at University of Plymouth, England.

Eligible candidate may Apply as soon as possible.


(01) PhD Degree – Fully Funded

PhD position summary/title: Investigation the role of p62-dependent P-bodies in models of neurodegeneration

This PhD project aims to investigate the link between p62 and ribonucleoprotein (RNP) granules, such as P-bodies, a dynamic category of membrane-less biomolecular assemblies consisting of RNAs and RNA binding proteins (RBPs) induced by multiple stimuli, including infection, oxidative and proteotoxic stress conditions. Aberrant formation of RNP granules is associated with several neurodegenerative diseases and we recently discovered the importance for p62-dependent P-body formation in regulating inflammatory responses (Barrow et al., 2024). In this project drosophila will be used as model organism for investigating the functionality of p62/RNP interactions in models of neurodegeneration in vivo, including AD and ALS. Furthermore, their role in driving a pro-inflammatory state that promotes neurodegeneration will be determined. 

Deadline : 31 May 2024.

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(02) PhD Degree – Fully Funded

PhD position summary/title: Identification of lung cancer patients at higher risk for brain metastasis using microfluidics

Up to 55% of the patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) develop brain metastases with a median survival of 2–3 and 4–6 months in untreated and treated patients, respectively. Due to the location of metastatic lesions, surgical resection is limited, and chemotherapy is quite ineffective due to the blood brain barrier. It is thus crucial to identify patients at higher risk for brain metastasis at an early stage. Brain metastasis has been ascribed to the presence of subsets of circulating tumour cells (CTCs) that transmigrate through the blood brain barrier and thrive in the brain. No definitive signature genes for brain metastasis have been identified in CTCs from NSCLC due to the lack of validated markers or strategies to isolate these cells. In this project we will deploy a microfluidics-based cell sorting platform to isolate CTCs from a cohort of NSCLC patients with brain metastasis. Isolated CTCs will be subjected to comprehensive gene expression profiling to identify the signature genes of brain metastasis. Consequently, we will develop a microfluidics-based cell profiling platform to analyse the proteins encoded by the signature genes in CTCs collected from NSCLC patients and subsequently identify patients at higher risk for brain metastasis.

Deadline : 31 May 2024. 

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(03) PhD Degree – Fully Funded

PhD position summary/title: Exploring immunosuppression in glioblastoma via high-throughput genomic screens

One major reason for treatment failure in glioblastoma is that tumour cells secrete several immunosuppressive factors that alter the functions of immune cells in the tumour microenvironment. Hence, a successful treatment should inhibit the secretion of these immunosuppressive factors and subsequently block the bi-directional communication between the tumour cells and their microenvironment. Identification of genes regulating cell secretion requires a combination of a genetic screening tool (e.g., CRISPR) and a high throughput secretion assay capable of sorting large number of tumour cells based on their secretion patterns. This is not feasible with existing high-throughput cell secretion approaches that typically measure target production rather than secretion. This project leverages a cutting-edge approach, referred to as SECRET (Secretion-Enabled Cell Ranking and Enrichment Technique), to enable high-throughput sorting of cells based on their secretion patterns. We will use SECRET in combination with genome-wide CRISPR-Cas9 screen to identify the druggable regulators of immunosuppression in glioblastoma. Top screen hits will be selected using bioinformatic algorithms. In addition, the therapeutic utility of lead genetic regulators will be assessed through a drug screen. 

Deadline : 31 May 2024. 

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(04) PhD Degree – Fully Funded

PhD position summary/title: Endotoxin tolerization of macrophage-mediated inflammatory processes in an oral 3D-mucosal tissue model

Mucosal macrophages can be activated and drive tissue-destructive inflammatory processes.  Endotoxin tolerization is a process of repeated microbial stimulation that suppresses inflammation and regulates this tissue destruction. These processes are understood in mono-culture, but poorly understood in poly-culture, whereby cell-to-cell interactions present in oral mucosal tissue can exert both positive and negative effects on these tolerance-fate decisions. We have developed an organotypic 3D immune-competent oral mucosal model to investigate the role of cellular interactions in modulating endotoxin tolerance. Such investigations will progress our understanding towards clinical translatability of controlling macrophage TLR-driven inflammatory responses in chronic periodontitis. The successful candidate will study these tolerance-fate decisions using a wide variety of macrophage-centric immune cellular and molecular techniques, investigating pattern recognition receptor-cytokine responses to oral pathogens, leading to adopting a proteomic approach in the identification of therapeutic targets for resolution of chronic inflammatory mucosal disease.

Deadline : 31 May 2024.

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(05) PhD Degree – Fully Funded

PhD position summary/title: Understanding the role of the Mas receptor in demyelinating disease and injury

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a complex neurological disorder with an unknown aetiology and multifaceted pathophysiology. Whilst understanding and therapeutics within this field have been substantial and have improved the lives of many individuals living with MS, there is still an unmet need for interventions that can either protect or repair the nervous system. To develop appropriate therapies that can meet this challenge it is vital that we understand the pathological events following injury and the responses initiated during repair. Our research studies have been focused on components of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS) and have provided significant supporting data to suggest that Mas receptor activation, via therapeutic application of angiotensin 1-7, can provide protection and promote repair following demyelinating injury. However, these studies do not shed light on the role of Mas following a demyelinating injury, whether Mas may have a role in repair and why Mas is expressed on oligodendrocyte lineage cells. Recent research in non-CNS fields of study have suggested that Mas expression is upregulated following injury and may serve to protect or restore damaged tissue.

Deadline : 14 June 2024

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(06) PhD Degree – Fully Funded

PhD position summary/title: Investigating the role of eye movement in scleral growth

Are you fascinated by how our eyes work and eager to make a difference in the fight against vision problems? Join our research team and help develop a revolutionary model to understand the impact of eye movements on eye health, with a focus on myopia (nearsightedness).
  • Design and validate an innovative in-vitro model to investigate the impact of mechanical forces on eye health and structure.
  • Explore the fundamental relationship between eye movements, the growth of the sclera (the white part of the eye), and myopia development.
  • Collaborate on investigating existing and novel drugs with the potential to shape improved myopia treatments.
  • Work with porcine and human eye tissues to advance our understanding of cellular responses.

Deadline : 31 May 2024. 

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(07) PhD Degree – Fully Funded

PhD position summary/title: FIT for all: Delivering Functional Imagery Training via generative AI to improve access to effective psychological interventions for health

Join our interdisciplinary team to shape the future of mental health care. AI models like ChatGPT fundamentally change the landscape for automated delivery of psychological interventions. These models will likely make it possible to deliver psychologically-informed treatment at scale, meeting a substantial unmet need for these services.
This project will develop datasets and software to deliver Functional Imagery Training (FIT) via mobile devices and, ultimately, via embodied agents (robots). As a person-centred intervention, FIT presents an interesting challenge: the practitioner or AI must tailor responses to the content of what the ‘client’ says, and guide mental imagery exercises based on that personal content. By building an interdisciplinary team of psychologists and machine learning experts this project will deliver real-world impact with broad implications for mental healthcare.

Deadline : 29 May 2024

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(08) PhD Degree – Fully Funded

PhD position summary/title: The mechanisms of pressure and gas mediated neuroplasticity in the human brain

While hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is widely applied to treat a range of neurological and psychiatric disorders in countries around the world, the evidence threshold for implementation in the UK (NHS) has not yet been established. Moreover, the lack of a mechanistic understanding of the effects of altered oxygen concentration and pressure on the human brain limits the implementation and optimization of treatment protocols. 
Building upon the findings of our recent studies, this PhD will systematically test the hypothesis that broad improvements in cognitive and behavioural performance are the result of an increase in neuroplasticity driven by oxygen and pressure related neural change. The project will exploit the multimodal neuroimaging, brain stimulation, cognitive and behavioural assessment capability at BRIC to investigate the structural, functional, and pharmacological effects of hyperbaric, hypobaric, and altered gas environments available at DDRC. 
The PhD will provide an opportunity to develop and apply a range of skills in neuroimaging (e.g. fMRI, DTI, MRS), brain stimulation (e.g. TMS, FUS), electrophysiology (EEG) methods, alongside neurocognitive and physiological techniques. To address questions of how neural markers such as oscillations, cortical excitability, functional connectivity, and neurochemistry respond to altered oxygen and pressure.

Deadline :  7 June 2024

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(09) PhD Degree – Fully Funded

PhD position summary/title: Determining the dietary accumulation and toxicity of nanoplastics and co-contaminants (zinc oxide nanomaterials) in fish

Plastic pollution represents a global environmental challenge. The larger plastic particles can degrade to produce/release nanoplastics (NPs) that can enter the tissues of aquatic organisms. For example, up to 700,000 nanoplastics can pass across the gut of fish in four hours and once in the body, these NPs can enter the internal organs. However, linking accumulation with the effects on the gut epithelium, and the cellular storage and remobilization (i.e., excretion) following chronic exposure, remains unexplored. 
Contaminants such as NPs do not occur in the environment in isolation and the presence of other particles will affect their bioavailability and toxicity. Recently, engineered nanomaterial (ENM) production has increased, including zinc oxide (ZnO) due to its advantageous properties (e.g., piezoelectricity, semiconducting, antibacterial) and these ZnO particles can interact with larger microplastics through surface sorption. However, the interaction of ZnO with smaller scale plastic pollution (i.e., NPs), and the subsequent consequence for animal exposure (e.g., uptake and toxicity) remains unclear.
This project will understand the dietary exposure of NPs and ZnO co-exposure in fish through characterising the dynamics of NP and ZnO interactions in artificial gut fluids (stomach and intestines) and assessing the chronic toxicity and accumulation to fish using in vitro and in vivo methodologies.

Deadline : 24 May 2024

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(10) PhD Degree – Fully Funded

PhD position summary/title: Predicting developmental responses to environmental challenge

Organismal development is an incredibly dynamic and sensitive process and for many species it is occurring in an increasingly volatile environment. Yet within a species, there exists significant inter-individual variability in the development of both an embryo’s form and function and this can have significant implications for both individual organisms and evolutionary processes. This PhD studentship will use high-throughput bioimaging and deep learning to investigate the extent to which biological variation in unstable environments can be used to predict later biological processes, sensitivities and outcomes. The overarching goal is to test the predictive capacity of variation in developing organisms. Phenomics, is the acquisition of high-dimensional data on an organism wide scale and will be an approach central to this research. Using the techniques established in the EmbryoPhenomics research group you will acquire high temporal, spatial and functional resolution data describing changes in the form and function of developing embryos. Deep learning will then be applied to testing the capacity of these data to predict subsequent biological responses of individuals, ranging in timescale from hours to days, and even months.

Deadline : 3 June 2024

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(11) PhD Degree – Fully Funded

PhD position summary/title: ‘New Normals’ of the High Seas: Assessing the impacts of 14 years of Sargassum invasions on previously unstructured open waters of the Tropical North Atlantic

In 2011, a Great Belt of Sargassum seaweed formed in open waters of the tropical Atlantic for the very first time (Wang et al., 2019). This marked the start of notorious reoccurring invasions every year, with seasonal Sargassum blooms big enough to be seen from space. At the distal reach of the Great Belt, recurring golden tides of Sargassum have imposed predominantly negative impacts to coastal communities of the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico. In open waters, however, large patches of Sargassum are likely to have been (i) supporting development of biodiversity hotspots in the form of a drifting habitat corridor from West Africa to the Caribbean, and (ii) imposing on the physical environment by dissipating wind-wave energy and turbulent mixing in the upper ocean surface layer. 

Deadline : Open until filled

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(12) PhD Degree – Fully Funded

PhD position summary/title: The role of large-scale climate drivers in coastal evolution

The over-arching aim of this PhD project is to investigate the role of atmospheric patterns and variations in wave climate into prediction of beach response. This overarching aim will be covered by the following specific objectives:
  1. Data collation including publicly available morphological observations, open-source model outputs of atmospheric and wave hindcast, and future projections based on the most up-to-date climate change scenarios.  
  2. Definition of weather types and associated sea states affecting the UK coastline.
  3. Process-based numerical modelling in selected study sites.
  4. Investigation of major paths and modes of transport leading to beach erosion/ recovery cycles for the different weather types defined by the large-scale climate drivers. 
  5.  Projection of embayments response and associated uncertainty using statistical relationships between forcing conditions and beach evolution. 

Deadline : Open until filled

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(13) PhD Degree – Fully Funded

PhD position summary/title: Monitoring health and unlocking social behaviour in bottlenose dolphins with interdisciplinary next generation technology

Monitoring health and social behaviour in cetacean populations is required for population management and quantification of human impacts. Measures of individual fitness, survival, reproductive success, and sociality can have far-reaching implications for wildlife management and conservation, as populations adapt, or not, to human disturbance. Quantifying individual interactions is the foundation of social behaviour and cetaceans arguably demonstrate some of the most complex social systems in the mammalian world. However, the nature of social relationships in cetaceans remains poorly studied. Cetaceans provide unique research challenges that can constrain data collection and prevent multimodal inference. Recent developments in marine robotics, artificial intelligence (AI) and bioacoustics open opportunities for a technology-driven approach for conservation and behavioural research. AI-based techniques employing machine learning to analyse unoccupied aerial systems (UAS)-captured footage, and acoustic data need integration into tools to extract behavioural patterns and allow application to conservation research. The Scottish bottlenose dolphin project is one of the longest running individual-based studies of dolphins in the world, with multi decade sighting histories and life history data. This population has high societal importance, with core habitat impacted by coastal developments and in key areas for UK renewable energy. This project is an opportunity to integrate new generation technologies and contribute vital population and individual level information for conservation management and compliance monitoring for UK renewables.

Deadline : Open until filled

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(14) PhD Degree – Fully Funded

PhD position summary/title: Understanding the role of environment in determining rice blast disease outcomes

Rice blast is a devastating disease of cultivated rice caused by the fungus Magnaporthe oryzae. M. oryzae presents a threat to global food security as it is ubiquitously found where rice is grown and reduces yields by 15-30% each year. M. oryzae and rice also present a tractable study system for understanding plant-pathogen interactions, with well-developed molecular and genetic tools and a wide body of literature elucidating the infection process. Throughout the course of disease progression, M. oryzae shows co-ordinated growth through important life stages; penetration of the plant, the initial biotrophic stage of infection, into the later necrotrophic phase and eventual production of conidial spores. There is an open question as to the role of environment, including the physiological state of the plant in determining M. oryzae development and so also disease outcomes. This studentship will look at fungal development in plants in a range of environmental conditions.

Deadline : Open until filled

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About University of Plymouth, England –Official Website

The University of Plymouth is a public research university based predominantly in Plymouth, England, where the main campus is located, but the university has campuses and affiliated colleges across South West England. With 18,410 students, it is the 57th largest in the United Kingdom by total number of students (including the Open University).




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