PhD in Medicine: Preventing deaths caused by diseases of heart and circulation in patients with arthritis

Key facts

Application deadline 27 November 2017
Start date January 2018
Duration 3.5 years
Level of study Postgraduate research
Award type PhD studentship
Number of studentships 1

The insidious progression of cardiovascular disease is a life-threatening feature of several chronic inflammatory diseases (e.g. rheumatoid arthritis).

The incidence of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and deaths from cardiovascular causes is higher in patients with rheumatoid arthritis than the general population. The clinical management of patients with rheumatoid arthritis is tailored to alleviating symptoms, disease modification and functional improvement.

CVD is unaffected or only reduced slightly by the drugs used conventionally to treat rheumatoid arthritis in the clinic. The prevention or treatments of CVD associated with rheumatoid arthritis is a critical unmet clinical need. This studentship builds upon our proof of concept data; it will provide evidence from basic science research and from disease-relevant human tissues to underpin our case clinical translation.

Our working hypothesis: Pharmacological inhibition of Galectins will protect tissues of the heart and aorta from damage and loss of function caused by inflammatory arthritis.

The successful applicant will join a community of almost 300 postgraduate research students at Cardiff University’s School of Medicine. Our support for students in the School for research, training and professional development is excellent; 100% of full time PhD students completed successfully in 2015/2016, 93% submitted on time and all were employed within 3 months of completion.

Our 2016/17 cohort is on track to achieve the same impressive level of performance. In the Postgraduate Research Evaluation Survey 2017, our student satisfaction scores exceeded the National average for Supervision, Resource, Research Culture, Progress and Assessment, Responsibilities, Research Skills, Professional Development and overall satisfaction with the experience of the research degree programme.

Purpose of the study:

  1. To deliver a robust package of basic science research and initial proof-of-concept data in humans that validates Galectin blockade in the treatment of cardiovascular disease.
  2. To contribute significantly to the existing knowledge in the field of Galectin research.
  3. To produce a highly trained researcher who is prepared for employment in academia, science, medicine or non-research industries (e.g., government and the private sector).

This studentship is fully funded by an industrial award from Galecto Biotech. More than 50% of premature deaths in people with rheumatoid arthritis result from cardiovascular disease. The discovery of a drug that prevents vascular injury caused by arthritis is likely to be life-saving.

Supervisors

Contact

Anwen Williams

Professor Anwen Williams

Director of Postgraduate Research and Deputy Dean of Research (Postgraduate)

Email:
williamsas@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44 (0)29 2074 4733

Funding details

Tuition fee support Full UK/EU tuition fees
Maintenance stipend Doctoral stipend matching UK Research Council National Minimum
Additional funding offered An additional £500 p.a is available for conference attendance.

Eligibility criteria

Residency Open to all UK/EU students without further restrictions

Contact

Anwen Williams

Professor Anwen Williams

Director of Postgraduate Research and Deputy Dean of Research (Postgraduate)

Email:
williamsas@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44 (0)29 2074 4733

In the first instance, you should submit an application for the Doctor of Philosophy in Medicine, with a start date of January 2018.

In the research proposal section of your application, please specify the project title and supervisors of this project and copy the project description in the text box provided. In the funding section, please select "I will be applying for a scholarship / grant" and specify that you are applying for advertised funding from the School of Medicine.

A CV and covering letter should also be sent to Professor Anwen Williams. The covering letter should be no longer that one side of A4. It should state clearly why you were attracted to apply for this project, what skills you already have that will ensure delivery of the project milestones and how will you be motivated to complete the project successfully and on time.

We reserve the right to close applications early should sufficient applications be received.

Contact

Anwen Williams

Professor Anwen Williams

Director of Postgraduate Research and Deputy Dean of Research (Postgraduate)

Email:
williamsas@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44 (0)29 2074 4733
Meet us at our Postgraduate Open Day on 22 November 2017.

Eligible research programmes