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Leeds Liverpool Newcastle Sheffield

MRC DiMeN Doctoral Training Partnership

Discovery Medicine North

Current Opportunities

Applications for October 2018 entry have now closed.  Please keep up to date with future opportunities via the website and our social media channels.


The DiMeN partnership will have new studentship opportunities available focusing on the complementary themes of:

  • Genetic Influences on Health
  • Ageing and Disease
  • Bioinformatics and Personalised Medicine

Example projects: 


  1. A combined experimental and computational approach to understand spatial ordering of cell lineages within tissues.   Supervisors: Dr Nasreen Akhtar (Sheffield), Dr Alexander Fletcher (Sheffield), Professor Steve Winder (Sheffield)
  2. Age-related dysfunction of brain cholinergic tone: implications for neuronal network function and therapeutics.   Supervisors: Professor Mark Cunningham (Newcastle), Dr Stuart Neale (Neurexpert), Dr Tom Salt (Neurexpert) Non-academic partner: Neurexpert

  3. Bacterial-associated oncogenesis: How does the typhoid toxin of Salmonella Typhi manipulate the host DNA damage response?     Supervisors: Dr Daniel Humphreys (Sheffield), Dr Anjam Khan (Newcastle), Professor Sherif El-Khamisy (Sheffield)

  4. Bone Remodelling Around the Clock: Developing Chrono-Therapeutic Strategies for Treatment of Osteoporosis.    Supervisors: Dr Anna Daroszewska (Liverpool), Dr Vanja Pekovic-Vaughan (Liverpool), Professor Rob Van 'T Hof (Liverpool), Dr Carole Proctor (Newcastle)

  5. BPIFA1: from anti-viral peptide to immunomodulator.    Supervisors: Professor James Stewart (Liverpool), Professor Colin Bingle (Sheffield), Dr Robin Flynn (Liverpool) Non-academic partner: SiSAF Ltd

  6. Building functional epithelial tissues: coordinating planar polarity and tissue mechanics.    Supervisors: Professor David Strutt (Sheffield), Dr Alexander Fletcher (Sheffield)

  7. Characterisation of a novel Joubert Syndrome (JS) model to accelerate personalised medicine: from patient to a kidney-in-a-dish via iPS cells.  Supervisors: Professor John Sayer (Newcastle), Professor Patricia Murray (Liverpool), Dr Colin Miles (Newcastle)

  8. Characterizing the functions of a microcephaly-related gene in a knock-out mouse model using in vivo MRI, histology and cellular/molecular biology approaches.   Supervisors: Professor Harish Poptani (Liverpool),  Dr Antonius Plagge (Liverpool)

  9. Cryogenic processing of retinal tissue using computational modelling.    Supervisors: Professor Lyle Armstrong (Newcastle), Dr Roman Bauer (Newcastle), Dr John Morris (Asymptote Ltd), Dr Peter Kilbride (Asymptote Ltd) Non-academic Partner: Asymptote Ltd, GE Healthcare

  10. Data analytic approaches to prediction and prognosis in B cell lymphomas.    Supervisors: Professor David Westhead (Leeds), Dr Vikki Rand (Newcastle), Dr Reuben Tooze (Leeds)

  11. Determination of the microstructural extracellular and cellular response of young and aged anterior cruciate ligaments in the mammalian knee joint to mechanical load.      Supervisors: Professor Eithne Comerford (Liverpool), Professor Hazel Screen (Queen Mary University London), Dr Marlène Mengoni (Leeds), Professor Peter Clegg (Liverpool)

  12. Determining how post-transcriptional control of mRNA turnover and translation contributes towards age-associated joint diseases.   Supervisors: Dr Simon Tew (Liverpool), Dr Julie Aspden (Leeds), Professor George Bou-Gharios (Liverpool)

  13. Determining risk for drug-induced complications of anti-complement therapy in PNH.    Supervisors: Professor Claire Harris (Newcastle), Dr Darren Newton (Leeds), Professor David Kavanagh (Newcastle), Professor Peter Hillmen (Leeds)

  14. Determining the Molecular Mechanism by which Highly Effective, Broadly Neutralising Antibodies are Generated.  Supervisors: Professor Peter Stockley (Leeds), Dr Joan Boyes (Leeds)

  15. Developing non-invasive imaging strategies to investigate the effect of kidney disease on cardiovascular health.   Supervisors: Professor Patricia Murray (Liverpool), Professor Jurgen Schneider (Leeds), Professor Harish Poptani (Liverpool), Dr Bettina Wilm (Liverpool)

  16. Development of Peptidomimetic Regulators of Myc function.  Supervisors: Professor Richard Bayliss (Leeds), Professor Andy Wilson (Leeds)

  17. Dissecting the roles of endoglin in cardiac development, repair and chemotherapy-induced heart failure in zebrafish.   Supervisors: Dr Timothy Chico (Sheffield), Professor Helen Arthur (Newcastle)

  18. Dynamics of CD95L across the life-course and its effects on influenza.  Supervisors: Dr Robin Flynn (Liverpool), Professor James Stewart (Liverpool)

  19. Evaluating idiosyncratic metabolism using a flow based tissue engineering and proteomics approach for drug induced toxicity.   Supervisors: Dr Parveen Sharma (Liverpool), Dr Amy Chadwick (Liverpool), Professor Christopher Goldring (Liverpool)

  20. Evaluating 'non-canonical' Histidine phosphorylation on human cancer-associated protein kinases.   Supervisors: Dr Pat Eyers (Liverpool), Dr Spencer Collis (Sheffield), Professor Claire Eyers (Liverpool)

  21. Exercise-induced muscle membrane injury and repair in young and old subjects.    Supervisors: Dr Isuru Jayasinghe (Leeds),  Dr Catherine Arden (Newcastle), Dr Timothy Etheridge (Exeter), Prof John Colyer (Badrilla Ltd) Non-academic partner: Badrilla Ltd

  22. First look: Whole genome sequence analysis of Shigella from South Africa.    Supervisors:  Dr Kate Baker (Liverpool), Dr Roy Chaudhuri (Sheffield), Dr Karen Keddy (National Institute for Communicable Diseases), Prof Miren Iturriza-Gomara (Liverpool)

  23. How do the giant proteins titin and nebulin act as 'molecular rulers' and contribute to disease in cardiac and skeletal muscle?     Supervisors: Professor Michelle Peckham (Leeds), Dr Timothy Chico (Sheffield)

  24. Identification and optimisation of small molecule inhibitors of APP1 as novel therapeutics.   Supervisors: Dr Richard Foster (Leeds), Professor Elwyn Isaac (Leeds)

  25. Identification of cellular mRNAs targeted by dysregulated miRNAs during KSHV infection.   Supervisors: Professor Adrian Whitehouse (Leeds), Dr Ian Carr (Leeds), Professor James Stewart (Liverpool)

  26. Identifying and testing therapeutic targets for boosting immune-directed senescent cell clearance and promote healthy ageing using the zebrafish model.   Supervisors: Dr Catarina M. Henriques (Sheffield), Professor Ilaria Bellantuono (Sheffield), Dr Kasia Whysall (Liverpool)

  27. Identifying pathways regulating pancreatic beta-cell function and survival.    Supervisors: Dr Catherine Arden (Newcastle), Dr Adrian Teo (A*STAR, Singapore), Professor Penny Lovat (Newcastle) Partner: A*STAR, Singapore

  28. Interkingdom signalling: how Pseudomonas aeruginosa senses and adapts to the host environment.   Supervisors: Dr Daniel Neill (Liverpool), Dr Jo Fothergill (Liverpool), Dr Megan Wright (Leeds)

  29. Investigating glucocorticoid receptor modulators as new therapies for treating breast cancer.    Supervisors: Dr Laura Matthews (Leeds), Professor Valerie Speirs (Leeds), Professor Carlo Palmieri (Liverpool)

  30. Investigating stem cell-immune cell interactions in human osteoarthritic joint towards novel treatments for advanced osteoarthritis.  Supervisors: Professor Dennis McGonagle (Leeds), Dr Elena Jones (Leeds), Dr Richard Cuthbert (Leeds), Dr Derrick Yong (A*STAR, Singapore), Partner: A*STAR, Singapore

  31. Investigating the impact of alternative splicing on retinal cell structure and function: a multidisciplinary study to uncover new regulators of retinogenesis in health and disease.    Supervisors: Professor Majlinda Lako (Newcastle), Professor Colin Johnson (Leeds)

  32. Investigating the molecular mechanisms and consequences of ANP aggregation for cardiovascular disease; a computational and experimental approach.    Supervisors: Dr Jill Madine (Liverpool), Dr Dan Rigden (Liverpool), Professor Michael Taggart (Newcastle)

  33. Investigating the role of a novel kinesin molecule, Kif22, in tendon development and disease.   Supervisors: Dr Katarzyna Pirog (Newcastle), Dr Elizabeth Laird (Liverpool), Professor David Young (Newcastle)

  34. Investigating the role of WDR81 in progressive neurological dysfunction.   Supervisors: Dr Jeff Barclay (Liverpool), Dr Liz Seward (Sheffield), Professor Alan Morgan (Liverpool)

  35. Live imaging of leukocyte signalling dynamics during tuberculosis infection in an in vivo zebrafish model.    Supervisors: Dr Phil Elks (Sheffield), Dr Violaine See (Liverpool)

  36. Longitudinal study of mitochondrial DNA variant selection enabled by single-cell nanobiopsy.    Supervisors: Dr Gavin Hudson (Newcastle), Professor Sir Douglas Turnbull (Newcastle), Dr Paolo Actis (Leeds)

  37. Mapping the CDK interactome using Fraglites – a set chemical probes that probe protein interaction sites.   Supervisors: Professor Mike Waring (Newcastle), Professor Martin Noble (Newcastle), Professor Alex Breeze (Leeds)

  38. Mechanical activation of TGFbeta signaling in arterial disease.    Supervisors: Professor Paul Evans (Sheffield), Professor Helen Arthur (Newcastle)

  39. Mechanism of action and therapeutic potential of enzymes involved in rare glycogen storage diseases.    Supervisors: Dr Elton Zeqiraj (Leeds), Professor Neil Ranson (Leeds), Dr John Pollard (Vertex Pharmaceuticals) Non academic Partner: Vertex Pharmaceuticals Ltd

  40. Mechanisms of genetic polymorphisms associated with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and its role in disease progression.   Supervisors: Dr Denis McKeown (Leeds), Dr. J. Bernadette Moore (Leeds)

  41. Membrane targeting antimicrobials as promising resistance-breaking antibiotic candidates.    Supervisors: Dr Henrik Strahl von Schulten (Newcastle), Dr Nick Allenby (Demuris Ltd) Non-academic partner: Demuris Ltd

  42. microRNAs in ageing and osteoarthritis; a transgenic approach.    Supervisors: Professor David Young (Newcastle), Professor George Bou-Gharios (Liverpool),  Dr Kasia Whysall (Liverpool)

  43. Multispecies interactions in chronic lung infections: The role of microbial cell-cell aggregation in driving the evolution of cystic fibrosis pathogens.   Supervisors: Professor Craig Winstanley (Liverpool), Dr Nicholas Jakubovics (Newcastle), Dr Jo Fothergill (Liverpool)

  44. Non-canonical signalling mechanisms in phagosome maturation.    Supervisors: Professor Claire Eyers (Liverpool), Professor Matthias Trost (Newcastle)

  45. Novel therapeutic strategies for motor neurone disease and frontotemporal dementia: moving towards gene therapy approaches to target the unconventional translation of C9ORF72 dipeptide-repeat proteins.    Supervisors: Dr Guillaume Hautbergue (Sheffield), Professor Mimoun Azzouz (Sheffield)

  46. Personalised drug product development using 3D printing.  

  47. Regulating Shedding of Syndecan-3: A Novel Approach to Combat Bone Ageing.   Supervisors: Professor Rob Van 'T Hof (Liverpool), Professor Drew Rowan (Newcastle), Dr Kazuhiro Yamamoto (Liverpool), Dr Anna Daroszewska (Liverpool)

  48. Revealing the function and antibiotic target potential of the bacterial cytoskeleton by in vivo super-resolution microscopy.   Supervisors:  Dr Seamus Holden (Newcastle), Professor Jeff Errington (Newcastle), Dr Darren Tomlinson (Leeds)

  49. Role of abnormal collagen (I) homotrimer in cardiovascular ageing and disease.   Supervisors: Dr Elizabeth Laird (Liverpool), Dr Riaz Akhtar (Liverpool), Dr Timothy Chico (Sheffield)

  50. Sodium valproate-induced mitochondrial dysfunction: elucidating the mechanisms underlying individual susceptibility to toxicity.   Supervisors: Dr Amy Chadwick (Liverpool), Dr Ana Alfirevic (Liverpool)

  51. Stratifying patient response to epilepsy treatment using computational models of brain networks.   Supervisors: Dr Simon Keller (Liverpool), Dr Peter Taylor (Newcastle) Partner: The Walton Centre NHS Foundation trust

  52. Structure and function of specialised ribosomes in the brain and the testis.   Supervisors: Dr Julie Aspden (Leeds), Dr Juan Fontana (Leeds)

  53. Studying energy metabolism in tissue engineered cartilage – are mitochondria crucial regulators of joint rejuvenation?   Supervisors: Dr James Henstock (Liverpool), Dr Jude Curran (Liverpool), Professor Asipu Sivaprasadarao (Leeds), Professor Fan-Gang Tseng (NTHU, Taiwan)

  54. Studying the mechanisms of novel therapeutic compounds for Parkinson’s Disease in complimentary in vitro and in vivo models.   Supervisors: Dr Heather Mortiboys (Sheffield), Professor Oliver Bandmann (Sheffield), Dr Heather Melrose (Mayo Clinic, USA), Professor Charlie Meshul (Oregon Health and Science University, USA) Non-academic partner: NZP UK Ltd

  55. Systems-level understanding of calcium cycling control points in cardiac cells, and functional effects of their modification in heart failure.   Supervisors: Dr Al Benson (Leeds), Professor Richard Clayton (Sheffield), Dr Michael Colman (Leeds)

  56. The development of a novel anti-virulence therapeutic against Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection using in vivo and in vitro models.    Supervisors: Dr Jo Fothergill (Liverpool), Professor Aras Kadioglu (Liverpool) Non-academic partner: Neem Biotech

  57. The genetic basis of comorbidities and adverse reactions to glucocorticoids in patients with musculoskeletal disease and vasculitis.   Supervisors: Professor Jennifer Helen Barrett (Leeds), Dr Mar Pujades-Rodriguez (Leeds), Professor Ann Morgan (Leeds) Non-academic partner: Pharmatics Ltd

  58. The intracellular environment of human neutrophils permits the formation of a persister phenotype in S. aureus.   Supervisors: Dr Lynne Prince (Sheffield), Dr Rebecca Corrigan (Sheffield)

  59. The making of a Superbug: Understanding the mechanism of high level antibiotic resistance in Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).   Supervisors: Professor Simon Foster (Sheffield), Professor Nikolay Zenkin (Newcastle)

  60. The molecular mechanism of the Clostridium difficile sporulation channel.    Supervisors: Dr Paula Salgado (Newcastle), Professor Neil Ranson (Leeds)

  61. The role of apoptotic cell clearance in the pathogenesis and treatment of autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease.   Supervisors: Professor Albert Ong (Sheffield), Dr Iwan Evans (Sheffield), Dr Daimark Bennett (Liverpool)

  62. The role of mitochondrial dynamics and metabolism in preserving genomic integrity during reprogramming to induced pluripotent stem cells.   Supervisors: Dr Ivana Barbaric (Sheffield), Dr Steve Oh (A*STAR, Singapore), Dr Alan Lam (A*STAR, Singapore), Dr Jaichandran Sivalingam (A*STAR, Singapore) Partner: A*STAR, Singapore

  63. The role of resolvins – a novel class of omega 3-derived lipid mediators – in chronic pain.   Supervisors: Professor Fiona Boissonade (Sheffield), Professor Nikita Gamper (Leeds), Dr Dan Lambert (Sheffield)

  64. Understanding the physiological and molecular mechanisms underlying SARNP induced hearing loss.    Supervisors: Professor Walter Marcotti (Sheffield), Professor Stuart Wilson (Sheffield)

  65. Using high-resolution bone densitometry image analysis to quantitate the impact of lifestyle factors and interventions on bone quality and fracture risk.   Supervisors: Professor Mark Wilkinson (Sheffield), Professor Alejandro Frangi (Sheffield), Dr Dan Cuthbertson (Liverpool), Professor Chris Seal (Newcastle)

  66. Using patient-derived stem cells and drug screening to unravel the mechanisms of astrocyte-induced DNA damage as a pathway for motor neurone death in ALS.    Supervisors: Dr Laura Ferraiuolo (Sheffield), Professor Sherif El-Khamisy (Sheffield), Dr David Baker (AstraZeneca) Non-academic Partner: AstraZeneca

  67. What fundamental dysregulation of the immune system underpins the development of rheumatoid arthritis?   Supervisors: Professor John Isaacs (Newcastle), Dr Arthur Pratt (Newcastle), Dr Amy Anderson (Newcastle) Non-academic Partner: Janssen Research and Development

To apply please carefully read the instructions on the 'application overview' page and use the link on the page to submit an application.