PhD Studentship: Micronutrients and periodontal inflammation

United Kingdom
Jul 31, 2017
Oct 31, 2017
Organization Type
University and College
Full Time

Micronutrients, such as vitamin C/ascorbic acid, are vital for human health in their role as enzyme co-factors and antioxidants and have the ability to impact on a range of cellular signalling cascades. In recent years, there has been and increasing interest in the role of dietary micronutrients on a range of chronic diseases, with modifications in diet resulting in significant health benefits. Previous research (references 1 & 2) by our group has shown that micronutrients, including lipoic acid have the ability to modulate the NFkB signalling pathway, which is a key pro-inflammatory transcription factor, implicated in a range of chronic inflammatory diseases. This proposed project aims to explore in detail the mechanisms underpinning activation of this key transcriptional pathway as well as screening micronutrients and re-purposed off-patent licensed oral drugs for their ability to modulate its activation. Ultimately, this project offers the potential to uncover novel therapeutic interventions for managing inflammatory diseases.


There are three main aims within the PhD project:

First, establish relevant epithelial cell culture model systems and explore inflammatory responses to bacteria implicated in periodontal disease, both planktonic and within biofilms associated with health and disease.

Secondly, investigate the impact of micronutrients on epithelial inflammatory responses, including cytokine production.

Thirdly, explore synergies between micronutrients and common drugs on inflammatory pathways in epithelial cell culture.

Informatics techniques will be employed to explore the datasets generated throughout the project.


Cell culture, bacterial culture, reporter assays, microscopy, ELISA, PCR, mass spectrometry.


Funding Notes

We will consider applications from prospective students with:
- a good biomedical, microbiology, biology or similar degree (minimum of a 2:1)
- a source of funding to cover tuition fees and bench fees.

For more information regarding the project, please contact Dr M. Grant (

For more information about the eligibility, programme, or the application process please contact Viktorija Ziabliceva (



1. Milward MR, Chapple IL, Carter K, Matthews JB, Cooper PR. Innate Immun. 2013;19(2):140-51. Micronutrient modulation of NF-κB in oral keratinocytes exposed to periodontal bacteria.
2. Chapple IL, Matthews JB, Wright HJ, Scott AE, Griffiths HR, Grant MM. Innate Immun. 2013;19(2):152-9.Ascorbate and α-tocopherol differentially modulate reactive oxygen species generation by neutrophils in response to FcγR and TLR agonists.

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