PhD Studentship Regulation of CTGF Under High Glucose Conditions and the Implications in the Development of Diabetic Nephropathy


Full-time, 3 years

As part of our new developments i.e expanding the Institute of Translational and Stratified Medicine and our commitment to research excellence the Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine & Dentistry are seeking to attract PhD candidates of outstanding ability to join their exciting and rapidly expanding programme of internationally-rated research.

Applications are invited from suitably qualified graduates, 2:1 or above. International students must also have IELTS score of 7 or above (or equivalent qualification).

We believe that connective tissue growth factor (CTGF/CCN2) plays an important role in the development of diabetic nephropathy (DN). The molecule, nephroblastoma overexpressed (NOV/CCN3) is considered a negative regulator of CTGF and a novel endogenous inhibitor of the fibrotic pathway. In addition, statins, which are the inhibitors of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl CoA (HMG-CoA) reductase have been demonstrated to confer renoprotection in a variety of glomerular diseases, including DN. The main aims of this project are (1) to characterise the regulation of CTGF and to determine the roles of CTGF and NOV in the development of DN; (2) to determine the mechanisms of statins on CTGF and NOV expression in human kidney cells and peripheral blood mononuclear cells from patients with type 1 diabetes and to characterise the use of statins for future prevention and treatment strategies in DN. The project will involve mainly in cell culture, luciferase assay, ELISA, Western Blotting, immunohistochemistry staining etc. techniques. The successful candidate will work with an established diabetic complication research group in the Medical school. The candidate will also have access to specialized training courses as needed. Special requirement for candidate: Applicants should be highly motivated and will normally be expected to have a required degree in biomedical sciences or relevant disciplines. Laboratory experiences are desirable.

Also Read  PhD Studentship “Light, Touch, Matters”

Closing date for applications: 12.00 noon 11th August 2013

Start date: October 2013

To Apply for this studentship please download an application form from the Apply button below and return it with a statement outlining your reasons for wanting to pursue this course and details of any other achievements or experience that will support your application. Also send copies of your qualifications, transcripts, two academic references and c.v. to:

Bernice Wilmshurst, Senior Administrator (Research Degrees), Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine & Dentistry, The John Bull Building, Tamar Science Park , Plymouth PL6 8BU. Telephone 01752 437471 email:

For an informal discussion about the contact: Dr Bingmei Yang (email: 

Funding Notes: The stipend will be £13,726. Tuition fees will be paid at the home/EU rate. Due to funding restrictions candidates from countries outside the European Union will be liable for the difference between ‘home student fees’ and ‘international student fees’. For the 13/14 academic year the difference in fee is £10,150. If you are selected you will be required to provide financial assurances.

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