Application invited for a 4-year BBSRC iCASE PhD Studentship


Applications are invited from highly motivated individuals for the above studentship, based at the School of Medicine, Division of Medical Sciences & Graduate Entry Medicine at the Royal Derby Hospital Centre, Derby.

The purpose of this 4-year PhD studentship (a partnership between the University of Nottingham and MARS Petcare) is to validate and apply minimally invasive approaches to quantify muscle mass and metabolism to support optimal growth, adult health and musculoskeletal maintenance into older age in animal models (dogs and cats). One of the major obstacles to improving animal growth and wellbeing (for both agricultural reasons and for production of optimal foodstuffs for animal health) is the need to rely on poorly defined biomarkers for health status and the efficacy of interventions i.e. lifestyle, pharmaceuticals, nutrition. This is particularly important in the context of skeletal muscle since this organ is critical for growth, adult health and for healthy ageing. Using minimally invasive stable isotope approaches (including an indicator of amino acid oxidation (IAAO), muscle protein synthesis (D2O), protein breakdown (15N Glycine, D33MH) and energy expenditure/ body composition (18O water and D3-Creatine)) and state of the art mass spectrometric techniques, this studentship will help determine: (i) the optimal protein/amino acid requirements in the context of ageing skeletal muscle, (ii) the effects of chronic nutritional interventions upon muscle metabolism, muscle mass and energy expenditure, and (iii) determine putative biomarkers that track with changes and/ or differences in (muscle) physiological endpoints using targeted metabolomics. This studentship represents a unique opportunity for the student to be trained in innovative and novel techniques and interventions relating to skeletal muscle metabolism, in an area with an established influence on health- and lifespan.

Applicants should have an undergraduate degree (2i or above) in a science discipline, including aspects of biochemistry and physiology. A Masters degree is desirable as is relevant research experience. This studentship is available for a period of 3 years and provides a stipend of £14,338 per annum. Due to funding restrictions, this studentship is available to UK/EU only.


Application forms are available from Mrs S Rougeolle, Division of Medical Sciences & Graduate Entry Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Nottingham, Royal Derby Hospital, Uttoxeter Road, Derby, DE22 3DT. Tel: 01332 724618. Email:

More information and details on how to apply