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Differential expression patterns associated with the development of systemic sclerosis

Systemic sclerosis is a chronic autoimmune rheumatic disease, characterised by excessive scarring and fibrosis which causes thickening and tightening of the connective tissues of the skin and damage to major organs, including lungs, heart, kidneys, and the gastrointestinal tract. In collaboration with clinicians at the Royal Free Hospital in London we are using microarray profiling of control and disease tissues to identify changes in protein expression.

The main aim of the project is to establish the defects in membrane traffic and signalling that are at the basis of disease progression in systemic sclerosis. Identification of proteins involved in disease progression will help the development of novel therapeutic targets to halt this debilitating disease.
Microarray analysis and characterisation of proteins that show altered expression levels in diseased samples will be used to identify candidate proteins. These proteins will be further selected by gene ontology profiling and their importance in disease progression tested in our in vitro systems, using novel imaging techniques (e.g. total internal reflection microscopy). 

How to apply

If you are interested in applying for the above PhD topic please follow the steps below:

  1. Contact the supervisor by email or phone to discuss your interest and find out if you woold be suitable. Supervisor details can be found on this topic page. The supervisor will guide you in developing the topic-specific research proposal, which will form part of your application.
  2. Click on the 'Apply here' button on this page and you will be taken to the relevant PhD course page, where you can apply using an online application.
  3. Complete the online application indicating your selected supervisor and include the research proposal for the topic you have selected.

Good luck!

This is a self funded topic

Brunel offers a number of funding options to research students that help cover the cost of their tuition fees, contribute to living expenses or both. See more information here: https://www.brunel.ac.uk/research/Research-degrees/Research-degree-funding. The UK Government is also offering Doctoral Student Loans for eligible students, and there is some funding available through the Research Councils. Many of our international students benefit from funding provided by their governments or employers. Brunel alumni enjoy tuition fee discounts of 15%.


Dr Gudrun Stenbeck - Qualifications: -
  • 1993: PhD in Chemical Technology/Biochemistry, Technical University Darmstadt, Germany
  • 1989: German equivalent of BS/MS degree in Chemical Technology, Technical University Darmstadt, Germany