Medicine: Fully Funded EPSRC and Calon Cardio PhD Scholarship at Swansea University: Analysis of shear stress-induced von Willebrand factor and platelet damage from ventricular assist devices

  • Phd
  • Full cost of UK/EU tuition fees, plus a stipend
  • 2 November 2018

Subject areas: Biochemistry/ Biomedical/ Cardiovascular/ Genetics/ Biology
Start date: 2 January 2019
Academic Supervisors: Professor Venkateswarlu Kanamarlapudi, Dr Karl Hawkins and Dr Ankush Aggarwal
Industrial supervisor: Dr Sabrina Ali
Swansea University Medical School invites applications for a 3 year PhD studentship, jointly funded by EPSRC DTP and Calon Cardio-Technology Ltd, starting in January 2019.
The fully funded studentship provides an exciting opportunity to carry out research in the Biomedical field.  The successful student will study shear stress-induced von Willebrand factor degradation and platelet damage in vitro and in patients implanted with a ventricular assist device (VAD).
Heart failure is the UK biggest killer. Since the availability of organs for transplantation has declined, VAD implantation has become the preferred method of treatment for heart failure. Therefore, it becomes pertinent to understand the consequences of long-term usage of VADs on quality of life of patients. Gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding remains a serious complication of long-term usage of VAD. Shear stress-induced breakdown of high molecular weight (HMW) vWF multimers occurs following cleavage by the activated metalloprotease ADAMTS13. vWF degradation may contribute to GI bleeding as HMW vWF multimers are required for platelet aggregation, which is critical for blood clotting. This PhD study will investigate the loss of HMW multimers and activity of vWF and platelets from blood under shear stress. This study could provide vital information to VAD developers to modify device design to suit for longer-term usage without any complications.
Swansea University's College of Medicine was founded in 2001 and its research is conducted within the Institute of Life Science (ILS and ILS-2). In 2007 the phase 1 research facility was opened, a £50million collaboration between the Welsh Assembly Government, Swansea University and IBM, while phase 2 was opened in December 2011. Details of the College of Medicine’s research activity can be found at the following website:


Candidates must have an upper second class (2.1) honours degree or a Master's degree or equivalent in Biochemistry/Biomedical/Biology/Microbiology/Genetics.
Candidates should also have:
Proficient computer skills: Windows 8, MS Office (Word, Excel, Power point)Excellent written and verbal communicationAbility to work both independently and in a teamAbility to work under pressure and meet deadlinesAbility to be highly organisedExcellent attention to detail
Desired laboratory skills: immunoblotting, flow cytometry, ELISA, PCR, cell culture.
We would normally expect the academic and English Language requirements to be met by point of application. For details on the University‚Äôs English Language entry requirements, please visit ‚Äst
Due to funding restrictions, this scholarship is open to UK/EU candidates only.


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This scholarship covers the full cost of UK/EU tuition fees, plus an annual stipend of £14,777. There will also be additional funds available for research expenses.


Please visit our website for more information.

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