Understanding the role of the Mas receptor in demyelinating disease and injury

Applications are invited for a three-year PhD studentship. The studentship will start on 1 October 2024.


To apply please use the online application form. Simply search for PhD Biomedical Sciences (and select the entry point of October 2024), then clearly state that you are applying for a PhD studentship and name the project at the top of your personal statement.
Online application
Before applying, please ensure you have read the Doctoral College’s general information on applying for a postgraduate research programme.
For more information on the admissions process, please contact research.degree.admissions@plymouth.ac.uk
Director of Studies: Dr Eve Kelland 
2nd Supervisor: Professor David Parkinson 
Applications are invited for a three-year PhD studentship. The studentship will start on 1 October 2024.

Project description 

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a complex neurological disorder with an unknown aetiology and multifaceted pathophysiology. Whilst understanding and therapeutics within this field have been substantial and have improved the lives of many individuals living with MS, there is still an unmet need for interventions that can either protect or repair the nervous system. To develop appropriate therapies that can meet this challenge it is vital that we understand the pathological events following injury and the responses initiated during repair. Our research studies have been focused on components of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS) and have provided significant supporting data to suggest that Mas receptor activation, via therapeutic application of angiotensin 1-7, can provide protection and promote repair following demyelinating injury. However, these studies do not shed light on the role of Mas following a demyelinating injury, whether Mas may have a role in repair and why Mas is expressed on oligodendrocyte lineage cells. Recent research in non-CNS fields of study have suggested that Mas expression is upregulated following injury and may serve to protect or restore damaged tissue.
For this MS Society awarded PhD studentship the project is centred on determining the kinetics and importance of the Mas receptor in response to myelin damage. The project will use both in vivo animal models and human adult tissue samples and will utilize a broad range of experimental methodologies including immunohistochemistry, fluorescence and electron microscopy and Western Blot.


Applicants should have a first or upper second class honours degree in an appropriate subject or a relevant masters qualification.
The studentship is supported for 3 years and includes full home tuition fees plus a stipend of £18,110 2023/24 (2024/25 TBC). The studentship will only fully fund those applicants who are eligible for home fees with relevant qualifications. Applicants normally required to cover international fees will have to cover the difference between the home and the international tuition fee rates approximately £12,697 per annum 2023/24 rate (2024/25 rate TBC).
If your first language is not English, you will need to meet the minimum English requirements for the programme, IELTS Academic score of 6.5 (with no less than 5.5 in each component test area) or equivalent. 
NB: The studentship is supported for three years of the four-year registration period. The fourth year is a self-funded ‘writing-up’ year.
If you wish to discuss this project further informally, please contact Dr Eve Kelland.
Please see our apply for a postgraduate research programme page for a list of supporting documents to upload with your application. 
For more information on the admissions process generally, please visit our apply for a postgraduate research programme page or contact the Doctoral College at research.degree.admissions@plymouth.ac.uk.
The closing date for applications is Friday 14 June 2024 at 15:00. 
Shortlisted candidates will be invited for interview shortly after the deadline. We regret that we may not be able to respond to all applications. Applicants who have not received a response within six weeks of the closing date should consider their application has been unsuccessful on this occasion.