PhD A study of impaired microcirculation in ulcerative conditions: the effects of nutrition and infection



Chronic wounds are an immense clinical burden exacerbated by diabetes, venous disease, trauma and chronic inflammatory processes. This problem is global, and – apart from the appreciation of additional risk factors including aging, smoking and dyslipidemia – the current treatment options are maintenance therapy. There is an urgent need to answer questions related to pathophysiology and mechanisms to improve the situation. This project will determine the relative contribution of perfusion/diffusion and infection to impairment of the microcirculation in skin that is at risk of chronic wounding and will test novel nutritional interventions. The experimental work will be carried out in humans and in animal models. The outcomes of the work will lead to better understanding and treatment of infected wounds and detection of loss of the innate skin defence against chronic wounds.

Specifically, the work will address the following questions:

  • How does infection affect the microcirculation (diffusion and perfusion) supplying the wound area?
  • Does nutritional modulation (by e.g. antioxidants, omega-3 fats, arginine, nitrite/nitrate) of the microcirculation promote skin defences in different conditions?
  • Can systemic nutritional interventions modulate microcirculatory reactivity and thereby strengthen the local defence system?

The student will work with a multidisciplinary research team (Professor Philip Calder, Professor Martin Feelisch, Dr Raj Mani, Dr Paul Stoodley), allowing exploration of both clinical and basic science aspects. Both phenotype and underlying mechanisms will be addressed, providing the opportunity to learn and use a number of physical, physiological and biochemical techniques of relevance to understanding wound healing. There will be opportunity to work on both animal and human models, hence experience with small animal experimentation would be an advantage. To apply please use the online button at the end of the advert, which will take you to University of Southampton online application system.

https://studentrecords.soton.ac.uk/BNNRPROD/bzsksrch.P_Login?pos=4383&majr=4383&term=201314

You should enter Professor PC Calder as your proposed supervisor. In addition, you must submit a covering letter and academic CV. The covering letter must state the title of the studentship and a short personal statement outlining your suitability for the study, what you hope to achieve from the PhD, and your research experience to date (no more than 300 words). Applicants should be UK or EU citizens due to funding restrictions.

Applicants should hold (or expect to obtain) a minimum upper-second honours degree.

Closing date: 31/08/2013

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