MRC MRes/PhD studentship

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Amar Annamalai
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MRC MRes/PhD studentship

MRC MRes/PhD studentship - The Impact of a Senescent-like Phenotype in Post-mitotic Cells and its Impact on Ageing

Newcastle University

Qualification type:


Funding for:
UK Students, EU Students

Funding amount:
£14,057 Please see advert

Full Time

Placed on:
11th February 2015

28th February 2015


The funding covers one year MRes followed by a three year PhD.  Depending on how you meet the MRC’s eligibility criteria, a full award covers tuition fees at the UK/EU rate and an annual stipend at RCUK rates (£14,057 for 2015/16).  A partial award covers fees at the UK/EU rate only.
Start Date: September 2015
Medical Research Council (MRC)
Project description
This project aims to explore how intrinsic mechanisms of ageing, namely telomere-dependent senescence and how it contributes to ageing of post-mitotic cells. Cell senescence has been defined as an irreversible cell-cycle arrest that acts both as a tumour suppressor and a promotor of ageing. However, so far senescence has always been thought to be limited to proliferation-competent cells and tissues. Recent work has challenged this idea, demonstrating that ageing post-mitotic neurons develop a senescent-like phenotype.
In this project, we hypothesise that senescence can occur in multiple post-mitotic cells and is malleable through nutritional interventions. As part of a collaborative project involving Newcastle University and the Mayo Clinic the student will explore the mechanisms driving cellular senescence in post-mitotic cells and determine the consequences of ablation of senescent cells using the p16INK-ATTAC mouse model.
This project will explore synergist expertise in ageing present at Newcastle and the Mayo Clinic.  The student will be able to spend part of the PhD at Mayo Clinic (US) which is a world leader in the field of senescence and has engineered laboratory mice so that one could eliminate senescent cells.  Through collaboration with Dr. LeBrasseur, the student will be able to use the p16INK-ATTAC mouse model to study the impact of senescence ablation on muscle function.
This is a very exciting project and a unique opportunity for an ambitious young researcher aiming to develop a career in biology of ageing.
References and further reading:
Hewitt et al. 2012 Nature Comm.
Passos et al. 2010 Mol Sys Biol.
Baker et al. 2011 Nature
Name of the supervisor(s)
Dr J PassosInstitute for Cell and Molecular Biosciences (Newcastle)
Professor D Young, Institute of Cellular Medicine (Newcastle) 
Dr N LeBrasseur (Mayo Clinic, US)

Person Specification

First Class / Upper Second honours science degree (awarded or expected) in a relevant science degree.
- EU Resident
- Self-motivated
- Good interpersonal skills
The award is available to UK/EU applicants only. Depending on how you meet the MRC’s eligibility criteria, you may be entitled to a full or a partial award.
How to Apply

You must apply through the University’s online postgraduate application form. Only mandatory fields need to be completed. However, you will need to include the following information:
• insert the programme code 4850F in the programme of study section
• select ‘Master of Research/Doctor of Philosophy (Medical Sciences) - Human Genetics’ as the programme of study
• insert the studentship code CB116 in the studentship/partnership reference field 
• attach a covering letter and CV.  The covering letter must state the title of the studentship, quote the studentship reference code CB116 and state how your interests and experience relate to the project 
• attach degree transcripts and certificates and,if English is not your first language, a copy of your English language qualifications
Further Information

Please contact: 
Dr J Passos
Institute for Cell and Molecular Biosciences