PhD Studentship – Fight Alpers’



Reference Code: IA067

Name of the supervisors
Dr Robert McFarland, Institute for Ageing & Health (IAH)

Professor Robert Taylor, Institute for Ageing & Health (IAH)

Professor Doug Turnbull, Institute for Ageing & Health (IAH)

Sponsor
Ryan Stanford Appeal

Duration of the award
Three year PhD

Project description
Alpers’ syndrome is a progressive mitochondrial disease of young children that causes a severe epileptic encephalopathy, neurodevelopmental regression and liver failure. The underlying genetic defect involves a nuclear encoded mitochondrial enzyme – polymerase gamma (POLG) – which is key to the replication and repair of mitochondrial DNA. Mutation of the POLG gene leads to a depletion of mitochondrial DNA, which in turn precipitates clinical disease.

The aim of the studentship is to gain a greater understanding of why children with Alpers’ syndrome develop particular neurological features and to explore ways in which we might improve the treatment of this condition. The project will involve a broad range of molecular biology techniques, tissue culture and use of induced pluripotent stem cells. The successful candidate will work alongside other PhD students, post-doctoral scientists and clinical fellows in the Wellcome Trust Centre for Mitochondrial Research within Newcastle University’s Institute for Ageing and Health.

Value of the award and eligibility
This studentship covers fees at the UK/EU rate and an annual stipend at Research Council rates (£13,726 for 2013-14).

Person specification
Candidates must have a first-class or upper-second-class BSc in an appropriate scientific speciality and a Master’s degree in a relevant subject.

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How to apply
You must apply by clicking on the Apply button below.
Please complete the University’s online postgraduate application form selecting ‘PhD in the Faculty of Medical Sciences – Ageing’ as the programme of study. Once you have selected the programme, please insert the studentship/partnership reference number IA067. Only mandatory fields need to be completed (no personal statement required) and a covering letter, CV and (if English is not your first language) a copy of your English language qualifications must be attached. The covering letter must state the title of the studentship, quote the reference number IA067 and state how your interests and experience relate to the project.

Closing date for applications
The post will remain open until a suitable applicant is appointed. Early application is advised.

Further information
For further details, please contact:
Dr Robert McFarland
E-mail: [email protected]
Telephone: 0191 208 8233

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