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Action for M.E. PhD Studentship - Understanding Muscle Dysfunction in ME/CFS - developing a drug Pre-Testing System

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Newcastle University
28 June 2012
. .
Newcastle Upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear
Earth, Environment & Energy

Further information

Name of the supervisor(s)
Dr P Manning
Professor J Newton

Action for M.E.

Duration of the award
3 years.

Project description
When ME/CFS patients undertake a standard level of peripheral muscle exercise they show marked abnormality of bio-energetic function when assessed using fMRI. Such over-utilisation of anaerobic metabolism pathways will limit capacity to exercise and lead to perception of fatigue. We hypothesis that this energetic abnormality contributes significantly to the expression of fatigue in ME/CFS and that targeting this will result in the amelioration of that fatigue. This PhD studentship will establish in vitro approaches to exploring the inter-relationship between muscle function, acidosis and fatigue expression with a view to developing treatments to be used in subsequent clinical trials. In vitro studies will directly study muscle mitochondrial function, pH (utilising a novel nanosensor approach developed by the applicants) and responsivity to alteration in pyruvate dehydrogenase function. This study will benefit ME/CFS patients through an increased understanding of the mechanisms of peripheral fatigue and approaches to its treatment.

Value of the Award and Eligibility
The award covers University fees at the UK/EU rate and a stipend matched to the minimum Research Council recommended stipend, £13,590 (2012/13).

Person Specification
You should have a first-class, or upper-second-class, Honours degree in a relevant discipline relating to biomedical sciences. Additionally the successful applicant will have or expect to achieve an MRes or equivalent qualification in a relevant subject.

How to Apply
You must complete the University's postgraduate application form. Select "Doctor of Philosophy (Medical Sciences) – cellular medicine” as the programme of study. Only mandatory fields need to be completed (no personal statement required) but you must attach a copy of your CV and a covering letter, quoting the title of the studentship and reference number CL056.

Closing date for applications
Prompt application is advised as this post is only available until a suitable candidate is appointed.

Further Information
For further details, please contact Dr P Manning,, (+44 (0) 191 222 8520) or Professor Julia Newton,, (+44 (0) 191 222 7194).

Newcastle University

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