PhD Studentship: Role of developmental genes in atherosclerosis progression: a possible role in ang

United Kingdom
Nov 20, 2017
Feb 20, 2018
Organization Type
University and College
Full Time

Atherosclerosis is a disease of arteries characterised by the build-up of fatty plaques, leading to angina, heart attack or stroke. It is the leading cause of death in the UK. Branches and bends of arteries are prone to atherosclerosis because complex patterns of blood flow at these sites generate frictional forces that trigger plaque build-up. Blood flow patterns also regulate the progression of early non symptomatic plaques into dangerous forms that can cause heart attack or stroke via mechanisms that are poorly understood.

We recently discovered that complex flow patterns activate several transcription factors that are typically associated with embryonic development (called TWIST1, GATA4 and SNAIL1). In our current BHF Programme, we identified several proteins (called TWIST1, GATA4, SNAIL1) that are produced in arteries at sites of disturbed blood flow and contribute to the initiation of atherosclerosis. The proposed PhD studentship will use state- of-the art genetic deletion strategies in mice and molecular biology analysis of cultured endothelial cells to investigate whether TWIST1, GATA4 and SNAIL1 contribute to the development of dangerous forms of fatty plaques. Our goal is to identify molecules that can be targeted using new medicines to reduce death and disability from arterial disease.


Funding Notes

Open to Home/EU and Overseas students that have secured funding for their studies.



Interested candidates should in the first instance contact Professor Paul Evans


Entry Requirements:

Candidates must have a first or upper second class honors degree or equivalent, or significant research experience.

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