PhD Studentship Targeting islet inflammation ex vivo and following transplantation

Reference Code: CL064
Closing Date: 31st March 2013

Details: Name of the supervisor(s) 
Professor J Shaw, Diabetes Research Group, Institute of Cellular Medicine (ICM)

Dr H Marshall, Diabetes Research Group, Institute of Cellular Medicine

Diabetes UK

Duration of the award Three-year PhD studentship

Project description Up to 50% of islets are lost very soon after transplantation through the instant blood mediated inflammatory reaction. Although a number of factors influence this reaction, it is clear that signalling from the islets themselves is a key initiating event.

The aims of the proposed research are to characterise the proinflammatory response in stressed islets ex vivo and specifically the role of contaminating ductal cells; to investigate whether this response can be attenuated by filtration to remove contaminating / stressed single cells or by co-culture with Multistem multipotent adult progenitor cells; and determine whether this enhances beta-cell function in vitro and following transplantation into the portal vein in an optimised preclinical model.

Successful ex vivo targeting of proinflammatory signalling in donor islets prior to transplantation offers the potential of sustainable insulin independence following a single graft.

Value of the award and eligibility The award covers tuition fees at the UK/EU rate and an annual stipend of £15,000 (2013/14). International students are eligible to apply but the award will only cover the tuition fees at the UK/EU rate.

Person specification Candidates must have a first-class or upper-second-class BSc Honours degree and a Master’s degree (distinction or merit) in a relevant subject.

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How to apply You must apply through the University’s online postgraduate application form inserting the reference number CL064 and selecting Doctor of Philosophy (Medical Sciences) – cellular medicine’ as the programme of study. 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 CL064 and state how your interests and experience relate to the project.

You should also send your covering letter and CV to Professor James AM Shaw, Diabetes Research Group, Institute of Cellular Medicine, 4th Floor, William Leech Building, The Medical School, Framlington Place, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE2 4HH (e-mail

Further information
For further details, please contact
Professor J Shaw
Telephone: +44(0)191 222 7019

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