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PhD topics for research students

Find below a list of currently available self-funded PhD topics.

We encourage all students to contact the supervisor or the alternative contact person for more information and an informal chat to discuss the process of applying and preparing your research statement. For more information on how to apply click here.

Description
Supervisor
Application Deadline
Funding
Understanding and manipulating our immune system to protect against ageing
Ageing is the most important non-modifiable risk factor for a number of diseases and conditions of the immune system including ischaemia reperfusion injury (e.g. myocardial infarction and stroke), can...
All year round

Self Funded

Self Funded
Investigating microvascular dysfunction in sickle cell disease (SCD)
Cerebrovascular disease is a leading cause of mortality worldwide, with numbers on the rise. It is a serious complication of a number of disease states, including sickle cell disease (SCD), an inherit...
All year round

Self Funded

Self Funded
Studying the immune system’s first responders: neutrophils and platelets. Friends of foes?
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) remains the leading cause of death worldwide particularly in developed countries, with inflammation being central to its pathophysiology. Hence, inflammation is currently ...
All year round

Self Funded

Self Funded
Investigating thrombo-inflammation in disease
Cardiovascular disease (CVD), including heart disease and stroke are leading causes of mortality in the UK and worldwide. CVD is a multifactorial disease in which the number of risk factors correlates...
All year round

Self Funded

Self Funded
Pharmacological strategies to promote resolution of inflammation in disease
Inflammation plays a crucial role in the pathophysiological cascade of ischaemia reperfusion injury (I/RI), the incidence of which is extensive including myocardial infarction, stroke, peripheral arte...
All year round

Self Funded

Self Funded
Emotionally intelligent artificial conversational agents for higher education or healthcare
Artificial conversational agents, can be embodied (physical robots or digital avatars on a screen) or not embodied (chat-bots or digital assistants). Agents may be able to converse but they can also a...
All year round

Self Funded

Self Funded
Exploring the potential of human-like computing methods and applications in education or healthcare
Intelligent, ‘human-like’ applications, 3D games, and interfaces are becoming more common in our everyday lives, and as an important area of focus within the fields of Multimedia / Human-Computer Inte...
All year round

Self Funded

Self Funded
Role of primary cilia in lung carcinogenesis (partially funded MPhil)
This is an MPhil Project only. Bench Fees will be covered. Cilia are antennae-like sensory organelles that detect mechanical and chemical stimuli. The physiological importance of cilia is highlighted...
All year round

Partially Funded

Partially Funded
Role of centriolar proteins in invasion
Primary cilia are microtubule-based organelles that detect mechanical and chemical stimuli. Although cilia house a number of oncogenic molecules (including Smoothened, KRAS, EGFR, and PDGFR), their pr...
All year round

Self Funded

Self Funded
Health data analysis to identify the role of gene and environment in risk of cardiovascular disease
Cardiovascular diseases including hypertension, myocardial infarction, heart failure, and stroke are the leading causes of mortality worldwide and are expected to keep rising. Modifiable and non-modif...
All year round

Self Funded

Self Funded
Interplay between lifestyle factors and genetic factors modulating coagulation in risk of myocardial infarction
Cardiovascular diseases including myocardial infarction, heart failure, and stroke are the leading causes of mortality worldwide and are expected to keep rising. Modifiable and non-modifiable risk fac...
All year round

Self Funded

Self Funded
Identification of determinants of sudden cardiac death using population studies
Sudden cardiac death is a major cause of deaths from cardiovascular origin. Indeed, up to half of the deaths from cardiovascular diseases are caused by sudden cardiac death. Prediction of sudden cardi...
All year round

Self Funded

Self Funded
Behaviour change interventions to improve population health and well-being
Unhealthy lifestyles, such as smoking and physical inactivity, leads to conditions such as cancer and cardiovascular diseases, reducing health, quality of life, and burdens our society. Behaviours are...
All year round

Self Funded

Self Funded
Interplay between genetic and environmental factors and risk of cardiovascular disease
Cardiovascular diseases including hypertension, myocardial infarction, heart failure, and stroke are the leading causes of mortality worldwide and are expected to keep rising. Modifiable and non-modif...
All year round

Self Funded

Self Funded
Involvement of the matrix protein SPARC in the dynamic interaction between tumour and host cells
Tumour growth depends on the crosstalk between malignant and surrounding stromal cells (fibroblasts, osteoblasts, endothelial cells and inflammatory cells). Malignant cells secrete soluble proteins th...
All year round

Self Funded

Self Funded
Mechanisms of cilia biogenesis and signalling
Cilia are sensory organelles that detect mechanical and chemical stimuli from the environment. They arise from centrioles and function as “antennae” that receive and integrate extracellular signals. T...
All year round

Self Funded

Self Funded
Role of cilia in oncogenic signaling and drug resistance
Primary cilia are microtubule-based antennae that detect mechanical and chemical stimuli. Although cilia house a number of oncogenic molecules (including Smoothened, KRAS, EGFR, and PDGFR), their prec...
All year round

Self Funded

Self Funded
Role of cilia in oncogenic signaling and drug resistance
Primary cilia are microtubule-based antennae that detect mechanical and chemical stimuli. Although cilia house a number of oncogenic molecules (including Smoothened, KRAS, EGFR, and PDGFR), their prec...
All year round

Self Funded

Self Funded
Mechanisms of cilia biogenesis and signalling
Cilia are sensory organelles that detect mechanical and chemical stimuli from the environment. They arise from centrioles and function as “antennae” that receive and integrate extracellular signals. T...
All year round

Self Funded

Self Funded
Investigating Therapeutic Effect of Different Antioxidants in Friedreich’s Ataxia (FRDA)
Friedreich’s Ataxia (FRDA) is an inherited neurodegenerative disorder caused by epigenetic silencing of the frataxin gene. It is the most common inherited ataxia, affecting 1:50,000 Caucasians, and is...
All year round

Self Funded

Self Funded
Genetic and non-genetic factors involved in risk of cardiovascular diseases
Main Aim: To identify genetic and non-genetic causes of cardiovascular diseases Cardiovascular diseases including hypertension, myocardial infarction, heart failure, and stroke are the leading causes ...
All year round

Self Funded

Self Funded
Mechanisms of cilia biogenesis and signalling
Cilia are sensory organelles that detect mechanical and chemical stimuli from the environment. They arise from centrioles and function as “antennae” that receive and integrate extracellular signals.  ...
All year round

Self Funded

Self Funded
Ageing-related pre-mRNA splicing of LMNA gene
The aim is to investigate the molecular mechanism of the pre-mRNA splicing event which outcome could then be modulated to slow the ageing process. Precursor messenger RNA (pre-mRNA) splicing is a cell...
All year round

Self Funded

Self Funded
Investigating Therapeutic Effect of Different Antioxidants in Friedreich’s Ataxia (FRDA)
Friedreich’s ataxia (FRDA) is an inherited neurodegenerative disorder caused by epigenetic silencing of the frataxin gene. It is the most common inherited ataxia, affecting 1:50,000 Caucasians, and is...
All year round

Self Funded

Self Funded
Investigating the function of common genetic variants that increase colorectal cancer risk.
Over 1 in 20 people in the UK will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer (CRC) during their lifetime. Much of this risk is genetically inherited with estimates ranging from 12 to 40%. Known cancer syndr...
All year round

Self Funded

Self Funded
Microwave assisted local heating for biomedical applications
Many biomedical applications require DNA amplifications and isothermal amplification is a technique used to address these requirements. Currently many research groups around the world are looking into...
All year round

Self Funded

Self Funded
The Development of an Artificial Heart
Background: Heart failure is defined as the inability of the heart to pump and circulate blood around the body to provide nutrients to the various organs. Heart failure is therefore catastrophic if no...
All year round

Self Funded

Self Funded
Mapping Software Systems based on Domains
This project is based on inter-disciplinary research: on the one hand, it is a Computer Science project, where a good understanding of software programming is needed. On the other hand, it is a Biolog...
All year round

Self Funded

Self Funded
Study of the exosomes: RNA composition of exosomes as potential biomarkers for cancer; Exosomes as a delivery vehicle for therapeutic shRNAs
Exosomes are membrane microvesicles that are secreted by many cell types and the tumour cells are thought to generate a larger number of such vesicles. Exosomes contain a large set of the specific RNA...
All year round

Self Funded

Self Funded
The mutations in TP53 gene from the glioma patients that trigger the aberrant pre-mRNA splicing
TP53 gene encodes the “Tumour Protein” p53 which plays a central role in cell cycle regulation. This protein is widely considered as the “Guardian of the Genome” for maintaining genetic stability. A m...
All year round

Self Funded

Self Funded
Study of the ageing-related pre-mRNA splicing of the LMNA gene
Precursor messenger RNA (pre-mRNA) splicing is a cellular process in which non-coding sequences (introns) are removed and coding sequences (exons) are joined together to generate mRNA for protein prod...
All year round

Self Funded

Self Funded
Role of CDCA/PP1 in Triple Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC)
Estrogen, progesterone, and HER2 receptor-negative (triple-negative breast cancers TNBC) encompass the most clinically challenging subtype for which targeted therapeutics are lacking.  To identify cri...
All year round

Self Funded

Self Funded
Repo-Man function in embryogenesis and differentiation
Repo-Man (CDCA2) is a Protein Phosphatase 1 (PP1) targeting subunit that has been shown to be an important regulator of cell division. Recent studied from our laboratory have also shown that that Repo...
All year round

Self Funded

Self Funded
The impact of chromosomal rearrangements on the genome organisation of leukaemia cells.
Chromosomal rearrangements are a hallmark of leukaemia. It is well known that specific chromosomal rearrangements are associated with certain leukaemia subtypes and that can predict clinical outcome. ...
All year round

Self Funded

Self Funded
Differential expression patterns and transport characteristics of aged cells
Ageing is associated with a number of diseases and manifests itself at the organ level (e.g. the morphological changes in the skin) as well as cellular level. Cellular function is dependent on correct...
All year round

Self Funded

Self Funded
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 t...
All year round

Self Funded

Self Funded
Modelling the t(6:9) translocation and MYB-NFIB gene fusion using the Crispr/Cas9 technology: implications for adenoid cystic carcinoma.
Recent advances in genomic technologies have revealed frequent MYB rearrangements in human malignancies. MYB, MYBL1 and MYBL2 belong to a small gene family encoding transcription factors whose role in...
All year round

Self Funded

Self Funded
Targeting TERT and the MYCN gene network as a novel therapeutic approach for high-risk neuroblastoma
MYCN belongs to a small family of transcription factors implicated in fundamental cellular processes. There are 3 members of the MYC family in mammalian cells, c-MYC, MYCN and L-MYC. They interact wit...
All year round

Self Funded

Self Funded
Investigating the effects of surfactant proteins in ovarian cancer progression
Ovarian cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in in women; every year 7,000 women are diagnosed in UK. It is the second most common occurring in the reproductive tract and the fifth overall...
All year round

Self Funded

Self Funded
Development of an in vitro 3D tissue culture model to study the effects of environmental contaminants on the human fetal-placental unit
Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are environmental chemicals that interfere with physiological systems, adversely affecting hormone balance (endocrine system) and disrupting the normal function o...
All year round

Self Funded

Self Funded
Brk and mTOR signalling: implications for Taxol resistance
One of the major causes of death amongst breast cancer patients is due to the development of distal metastases and the acquisition of resistance to chemotherapeutic agents. There is a scientific and c...
All year round

Self Funded

Self Funded
Radiation risks to patients treated with Radium-223
Bone related cancers are common and represent a wide spectrum of malignant disease. Radium-223 (223Ra) is a form of ionising radiation which selectively targets to bone-cancer sites where it very effe...
All year round

Self Funded

Self Funded
Investigating molecular disease mechanisms and therapy of Friedreich ataxia
Friedreich ataxia (FRDA) is a lethal inherited disease caused by GAA trinucleotide repeat expansion mutation within the FXN gene, leading to epigenetic modification of the FXN gene, decreased levels o...
All year round

Self Funded

Self Funded
The effect on genome behaviour of growing cells in 3D matricies
There has been a small amount of evidence in the literature that growing cells in 3D scaffolds instead of 2D monolayers alters genome behaviour and organisation such that nuclear structure is altered ...
All year round

Self Funded

Self Funded
Effects on the genome of new treatments for the premature ageing disease Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome
HGPS is a premature ageing syndrome that affects children leading to their premature death in their teens through heart attacks and strokes. There have been a few drugs that have been given to the chi...
All year round

Self Funded

Self Funded
Inducing the reversal of cellular ageing in model cell systems
As normal cells age they can only go through a finite number of cell divisions. Once they have achieved this they become irreversibly growth arrested known as replicative senescence. The transcriptome...
All year round

Self Funded

Self Funded
Disrupting the regulatory mechanisms that allow hospital acquired infections to resist antibiotic therapy.
The discovery of penicillin over 90 years ago and its subsequent uptake by healthcare systems around the world revolutionised global health and wellbeing. It marked the beginning of a golden age in an...
All year round

Self Funded

Self Funded
Central Nervous system Gene therapy to treat obesity Bardet-Biedl Syndrome (BBS). Analysis of the BBS brain development
Bardet-Biedl syndrome (BBS) is a debilitating, often life-limiting heritable multisystem disorder caused by dysfunction of non-motile cilia (ciliopathy). There is currently no cure for BBS, a disease ...
All year round

Self Funded

Self Funded
Nanoparticles in drug delivery
Nanoparticles (NPs) are materials with overall dimensions in the nano scale range (5nm-100nm). Due to their unique physicochemical properties, they have found a wide range of applications and are curr...
All year round

Self Funded

Self Funded
Disrupting the regulatory mechanisms that allow hospital acquired infections to resist antibiotic therapy.
The discovery of penicillin over 90 years ago and its subsequent uptake by healthcare systems around the world revolutionised global health and wellbeing. It marked the beginning of a golden age in an...
All year round

Self Funded

Self Funded
Budding yeast as a model for sudden cardiac death
Sudden unexpected cardiac death is responsible for about half of all heart disease deaths. It is an unexpected death caused by a change in heart rhythm. The underlying mechanisms are still not fully u...
All year round

Self Funded

Self Funded
Telomere length elongation following treatment with chemotherapeutic drugs.
Aim:  To investigate the mechanisms which leads to telomere length elongation after treatment with tricostatin A and azacytidine. Telomeres are specialised structures, which are present at the ends of...
All year round

Self Funded

Self Funded