UK: PhD Studentship in Platelet Pharmacology at University of Cambridge

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Applications are invited for a 3 year PhD Studentship starting in October 2014 which has recently been funded by the British Heart Foundation.

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which are widely used as anti-depressants, block transport of serotonin into nerve terminals and platelets. Clinical evidence suggests that SSRIs have effects on haemostasis and thrombosis, and platelet function. However, these effects are poorly understood and, since few relevant in vitro studies have been conducted, the mechanisms by which SSRIs modify platelet function remains unclear. One study has suggested that citalopram, a commonly used SSRI, selectively inhibits collagen-induced platelet activation1, although the mechanistic basis for the selectivity is unknown.

The project will characterise and investigate the mechanism of platelet inhibition by SSRIs. Platelet function will be measured using diverse methodologies and quantitative pharmacological designs. Advanced statistical and modelling techniques will be used to analyse the data.

The study will enhance our understanding of basic platelet biology and pharmacology, and provide an improved mechanistic basis for understanding the effect of SSRI treatment on haemostasis and thrombosis. The successful candidate will receive a diverse and detailed scientific training in platelet physiology and pharmacology.

1. Tseng YL et al., A selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, citalopram, inhibits collagen-induced platelet aggregation and activation. Thrombosis Research 2010;126:517-23.

Candidates must attain a first or upper second class degree (or equivalent) in pharmacology or a relevant biological subject. An interest in cardiovascular pharmacology is desirable.

Candidates should normally be a national of the EEA (European Economic Area) with relevant connection to the EEA. 
Relevant connection would be established if an individual has (i) been ordinarily resident in the EEA, and (ii) has an appropriate degree from a university in the EEA, or has worked in a university, hospital or research institution in the EEA for at least the past three years, or did so before taking up an appointment outside the EEA.

Candidates who are not EEA nationals may be eligible to apply if the individual has worked in a university (providing it is not for the sole purpose of full-time education), hospital or research institution in the UK for at least three years, prior to the date of application.

Funding available: The stipend will be at current BHF rates (Year 1 – £19,919; Year 2 – £20,915; and Year 3 – £21,960) and College/University fees are included but at the Home/EU rate only.

A travel fund of £1,000 is also available for the student to present at or attend scientific meetings relevant to the grant.

 The funds for this post are available for 3 years in the first instance.

Application process: 
Potential applicants are invited to contact Dr Gavin Jarvis ( to discuss the project further. To apply please e-mail a covering letter together with your CV and contact details for two academic referees to by 3pm, Friday 31st January 2014. Please add ‘BHF Studentship’ to the subject line of your e-mail.

Interviews will be held during February 2014.

The successful applicant will be asked to complete the University’s GRADSAF application form (but this is not necessary at this stage).

Please quote reference PM02406 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University values diversity and is committed to equality of opportunity.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.


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