Chronic infection and neurological sequala: cell mechanisms and potential interventions

Applications are invited for a 3 year PhD studentship which will start on 1 April 2021.

Project description 

The link between chronic infection and an elevated risk for ischemic brain injury is well-proven. Nothing is currently known about the mechanism producing this clinically important effect which has a major impact upon public health. This studentship will test one hypothesis which the preliminary data suggests has promise. Chronic infections are known to release inflammatory mediators into the circulation. These mediators have access to the extracellular space of the brain, and may reduce neuronal tolerance of ischemia and hypoperfusion. This project will test this hypothesis directly, using an array of established functional and structural assays of neurological injury and a standard model of acute ischemia. Training will be provided in a number of approaches used to assess brain injury and these may include electrophysiology, cell imagine, confocal imaging, immuno-staining, transgenic models and electron microscopy; depending upon results. Candidates are urged to look at past papers from the laboratory, for example: 

For examples of the kinds of experiments required. Please do not hesitate to contact the supervisor ( if you have any questions.


Applicants should have (at least) a first or upper second class honours degree in an appropriate subject. 

The studentship is supported for three years and includes full home tuition fees plus a stipend of £15,285 per annum. The studentship will only fully fund those applicants who are eligible for home fees with relevant qualifications. Applicants normally required to cover overseas fees will have to cover the difference between the home and the overseas tuition fee rates (approximately £12,763 per annum).

If you wish to discuss this project further informally, please contact Professor Robert Fern ( However, applications must be made in accordance with the details shown below.

General information about applying for a research degree at the University of Plymouth and to apply for this position please visit:

Please mark it FAO Doctoral College quoting Studentship ref no PMS - 0421 - S-1.

For more information on the admissions process contact

The closing date for applications is 12 noon on 12 February 2021. Shortlisted candidates will be invited for interview around late February. We regret that we may not be able to respond to all applications. Applicants who have not received an offer of a place by the end of March 2021 should consider their application has been unsuccessful on this occasion.