FST14: Regulation of muscular energy demand by a novel endocrine signalling mechanism

Controlled metabolism is a defining characteristic of living organisms. Dysregulated energy demand occurs in aging, particularly affects skeletal muscle, leading to muscular atrophy, loss of function and frailty. Understanding the aging process, and how to ‘successfully age’ is a key challenge to Western society and targeted key area for UK and EU research bodies. My group examines the local and endocrine control of age-associated muscle wasting, with the ultimate goal of preventing frailty. We have evidence for a novel mechanism for the regulation of energy demand within muscle cells, offering significant opportunities for intervention in aging, atrophy and muscle frailty.

The doctoral candidate on this project will characterise this novel mechanism, using in vitro cell culture and human in vivo models. This project will have 2 primary goals; 1) defining molecular pathways underlying endocrine control of energy demand, and how changes in metabolic function are coded. 2) Perturbing metabolism of younger and older individuals to determine the role of age, and demonstrating mechanistic control of energy demand during metabolic challenges.

Besides the primary work completed in the Elliott laboratory, time will also be spent with Dr Simon McArthur at Queen Mary, University of London. The candidate will thus be exposed to a range of environments and molecular, bench-top and clinical physiological skills, mastering in vivo and in vitro techniques, including cell culture, western blot, ELISA, qPCR, microscopy and flow cytometry.

The student will receive training in relevant techniques/technologies and gain expertise in a number of key project planning and analytical research and subject specific skills. The student will also take part in the University Graduate School and Faculty Doctoral Research Development Programme (DRDP) including transferable skills (e.g. presentation skills, scientific writing and employability skills) which aid in their future career progression. The student will also be encouraged to join relevant learned societies, which provide excellent support for students in terms of training opportunities and meetings to disseminate and publish their research.

Further enquiries

Please contact Dr Bradley Elliott, [email protected].


5pm on 10 February 2017

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Applications should be made to the Life Sciences MPhil/PhD programme and you should clearly state that you are applying for a Quintin Hogg Trust Scholarship and the Scholarship code (eg FST1) on your application.


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