University of Bath

GW4 BioMed MRC DTP Projects

Find out more about the PhD projects available via the GW4 BioMed MRC DTP Doctoral Training Partnership.

Faculty of Engineering & Design

Department of Chemical Engineering

A new technological platform for personalised cell therapy

DTP Research Theme: Infection, Immunity & Repair
Lead Supervisor: Dr Mirella Di Lorenzo
Project Code: MRC19IIRBa Di Lorenzo
Project Summary: Advanced cell-based therapeutics will shift toward personalised solutions where patients are treated as individuals rather than receiving one-size-fits all treatment. To enable this, we propose a highly interdisciplinary project that will lead to an innovative real-time monitoring and control platform for automated stem cell culturing.

Find out more about A new technological platform for personalised cell therapy

Smartphone Quantitation of Stress and Neuroendocrine Hormones

DTP Research Theme: Neuroscience & Mental Health
Lead Supervisor: Dr Nuno Reis
Project Code: MRC19NMHBa Reis
Project Summary: There is an urgent need in NMH for decentralised tests to measure levels of neuroendocrine hormones. This interdisciplinary project will deliver a disruptive, global biosensing methodology for fingerprinting hormones by combining new supramolecular chemistry with cheap optical microfluidics and wireless ‘smart chip’ technology.

Find out more about Smartphone Quantitation of Stress and Neuroendocrine Hormones

Department of Electronic & Electrical Engineering

Development of a multiplex sensing platform for accurate and rapid diagnosis of sepsis

DTP Research Theme: Infection, Immunity & Repair
Lead Supervisor: Dr Pedro Estrela
Project Code: MRC19IIRBa Estrela
Project Summary: Sepsis kills one person every few seconds. Clinical symptoms and current laboratory diagnostics do not allow definitive early diagnosis. This collaborative project aims to address this shortcoming through the development of a novel sensing platform, capable of detecting both pathogen associated and host immune markers of sepsis at point-of-care.

Find out more about Development of a multiplex sensing platform for accurate and rapid diagnosis of sepsis

Department of Mechanical Engineering

Computational modelling for prevention of heart failure following myocardial infarction

DTP Research Theme: Infection, Immunity & Repair
Lead Supervisor: Dr Andrew Cookson
Project Code: MRC19IIRBa Cookson
Project Summary: This project will develop a state-of-the-art computational model of cardiac perfusion and tissue remodelling following a myocardial infarction, using data acquired by PET/CT imaging of a novel mouse experimental protocol. The model will form a key part of an in silico tool for developing the next generation of therapies for heart failure.

Find out more about Computational modelling for prevention of heart failure following myocardial infarction

Ligament repair strain sensors: improving monitoring after ligament reconstruction surgery

DTP Research Theme: Infection, Immunity & Repair
Lead Supervisor: Dr Elise Pegg
Project Code: MRC19IIRBa Pegg
Project Summary: Investigation of a novel polyethylene suture with radiopaque (X-ray visible) marks along its length, intended for direct measurement of strain after suture augmented ligament repair using X-ray imaging methods. The project would be experimental, focused on materials and imaging, but also involve collaboration with orthopaedic surgeons and industry.

Find out more about Ligament repair strain sensors: improving monitoring after ligament reconstruction surgery

Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences

Department for Health

Applying behavioural and implementation science to improve group behaviour change programmes

DTP Research Theme: Population Health
Lead Supervisor: Dr Fiona Gillison
Project Code: MRC19PHBa Gillison
Project Summary: Drawing on behavioural and implementation science, this project involves the translation of a new framework for group-based behaviour change interventions (such as for weight-loss) into practice. It will include developing training and toolkits for group facilitators, and evaluating the impact on participant outcomes and group dynamics.

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Understanding prostate cancer prognosis and disease progression: interplay between lifestyle, anti-cancer immune competency, metabolism, and genetics.

DTP Research Theme: Infection, Immunity & Repair
Lead Supervisor: Dr John Campbell
Project Code: MRC19IIRBa Campbell
Project Summary: The effectiveness of prostate cancer therapy varies between patients. This highly interdisciplinary project will examine whether lifestyle factors such as exercise predict prostate cancer outcomes. Specifically, the project will assess the interplay between exercise, immunity, metabolomics and genetics in men with prostate cancer.

Find out more about Understanding prostate cancer prognosis and disease progression: interplay between lifestyle, anti-cancer immune competency, metabolism, and genetics

Department of Psychology

Mechanisms of treatment seeking and recovery in cannabis use disorder

DTP Research Theme: Nanoscience & Mental Health
Lead Supervisor: Dr Tom Freeman
Project Code: MRC19NMHBa Freeman
Project Summary: This project will target the global burden of cannabis use disorders in 3 interdisciplinary studies: 1) predicting treatment seeking with epidemiology and health record linkage 2) investigating cognitive mechanisms of treatment efficacy in a clinical trial 3) probing these mechanisms using neural and psychophysiological recording in the laboratory.

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Faculty of Science

Department of Biology & Biochemistry

Defining the role of efflux in Proteus mirabilis biofilm formation and catheter associated urinary tract infection

CDT Research Theme: Infection, Immunity & Repair
Lead Supervisor: Dr Brian Jones
Project Code: MRC19IIRBa Jones
Project Summary: Biofilms are a major cause of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and undermine treatment of infections. Working with Public Health England, the student will employ genetic, transcriptomic, and infection-modelling techniques to understand the role of efflux systems in biofilm formation. This will support the development of new anti-biofilm agents.

Find out more about Defining the role of efflux in Proteus mirabilis biofilm formation and catheter associated urinary tract infection

KAP1-lncRNA chromatin regulatory complexes control adult neurogenesis

CDT Research Theme: Neuroscience & Mental Health
Lead Supervisor: Dr Keith Vance
Project Code: MRC19NMHBa Vance
Project Summary: Adult neural stem cells produce neurons and have great potential in regenerative medicine to limit neuronal damage and functional loss. This project will systematically define novel KAP1-lncRNA chromatin regulatory complexes needed for neuron production that may be targeted to develop new treatments for neurodegenerative disorders.

Find out more about KAP1-lncRNA chromatin regulatory complexes control adult neurogenesis

Targeting a novel allosteric site on Trypanosoma cruzi trans-sialidase for future Chagas' disease therapy

CDT Research Theme: Infection, Immunity & Repair
Lead Supervisor: Dr Susan Crennell
Project Code: MRC19IIRBa Crennell
Project Summary: Chagas’ Disease, caused by T. cruzi, lacks effective treatment and results in major morbidity in Latin America. A newly-identified allosteric site on a surface enzyme may be a breakthrough. Inhibitor synthesis will be combined with laboratory characterisation, protein structure and computer simulation to target this neglected tropical disease.

Find out more about Targeting a novel allosteric site on Trypanosoma cruzi trans-sialidase for future Chagas' disease therapy

Department of Mathematical Sciences

Causal inference methods for randomised trials

CDT Research Theme: Population Health
Lead Supervisor: Dr Jonathan Bartlett
Project Code: MRC19PHBa Bartlett
Project Summary: In randomised trials comparing two or more treatments, patients often change from their randomised during follow-up. This project will explore how methods developed for causal inference in non-randomised studies can be used and extended to disentangle the effects of each treatment in randomised trials.

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Department of Physics

In depth understanding of dementia-associated changes to neuronal signalling

CDT Research Theme: Neuroscience & Mental Health
Lead Supervisor: Prof Alain Nogaret
Project Code: MRC19NMHBa Nogaret
Project Summary: Different categories of neurons host different types of ion channels whose functional role is not well understood and disease states can substantially alter electrical behaviour by modifying ion channel complements. The project will sequence the ion channels of hippocampal neurons through the data assimilation of membrane voltage oscillations.

Find out more about In depth understanding of dementia-associated changes to neuronal signalling