FST15: Clinical and metabolomic study of the effects of traditional Chinese medicine formulations on Asthma – East Asian Medicine

Chinese herbal medicine (CHM) is widely used for the treatment of asthma but little credible scientific research has been completed to either support or deny the claims for its efficacy. The first stage of this project will focus on ascertaining which treatments are commonly used, in China and also in other countries, and which Chinese herbs and formula are regarded as the most effective by traditional Chinese medicine clinicians. This data will be triangulated with the current scientific literature to identify a range of important herbal candidates to investigate. CHM will be sourced and analysed to confirm its authenticity and quality. The second stage will involve testing different herbal extracts and associated formula against specific cell lines appropriate to asthma. This, in vitro work, will provide data on which herbal extracts and formula have the highest biological activity and aid as a guide to selecting key herbs to use in the third, clinical stage. The clinical stage will take place in The University of Westminster Polyclinic and also at China Medical University Hospital, Taiwan. It will employ a mixed methods approach, utilising a more typical clinical intervention study alongside a metabolomics approach using either NMR spectroscopy or mass spectrometry as analytical platforms.

The findings from the study will have important implications for the future treatment strategy for people with asthma and for those already receiving treatment with CHM. Moreover, it also could provide a starting point for future drug discovery and product development initiatives. It is expected that the preliminary findings will be submitted for publication(s) in high impact journals (third year) and presented at relevant national and international conferences.

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.

The student should have a background in Chinese medicine and / or metabolomic techniques.

Please note that a bench fee of £3,000 per annum is payable by the student.

Further enquiries

Please contact Dr Anthony Booker, E: [email protected], T: 020 7911 5151.

Deadline

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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