Background to research and synopsis

Alcoholic liver disease is one of the commonest causes of liver disease. The damage that arises can be both acute and/or chronic and with time can lead to liver cirrhosis, with alcohol abuse the leading cause of mortality due to liver cirrhosis. Furthermore, liver disease is projected to overtake heart disease as the leading cause of premature deaths by 2020. Despite this, the precise mechanisms involved in disease progression from fatty liver to hepatitis to fibrosis are still poorly understood, but are likely to involve mitochondrial injury, free radical damage, iron dysregulation, innate immune response and endotoxin mediated inflammation. The aims of this project are to investigate how these factors induce liver injury and correlate with disease severity, utilising a combination of in vitro cell line model approach, using a specific alcohol metabolising cell line, as well as clinical samples from alcoholic patients. A variety of biochemical, molecular and imaging techniques will be employed to study cellular pathways and metabolic processes. The project will also study both natural and synthetic compounds in their capacity to ameliorate liver damage. Aspects of alcohol addiction from a behavioural side will also be studied.


Informal enquiries to: Dr Vinood Patel
E: [email protected]
W: Access Dr Patel's research via Research Gate and Westminster Research.

Entry requirements

Candidates should normally have a minimum classification of 2.1 in their Bachelor Degree or equivalent and preferably a Masters degree. Applicants whose secondary level education has not been conducted in the medium of English should also demonstrate evidence of appropriate English language proficiency normally defined as IELTS: 6.5 (overall score with not less than 6.0 in any of the individual elements).

Read more about our entry requirements.

How to apply

Please follow this link to apply for the programme most appropriate to your research, please note that the programme appears as MPhil on UCAS, however there is an option on the form to request PhD via MPhil, which is the standard route:

To make your application (SLS4):

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Interviews will be held in June/July 2019. The Studentship title is SLS4 Full Scholarship and Fee Waiver School of Life Sciences. Please include this in your application, you must also list the Project Code in order for us to allocate your application to the correct.