Medicine: Fully Funded EPSRC and Calon Cardio PhD Scholarship at Swansea University: In vitro analysis of Acquired von Willebrand Syndrome in patients implanted with ventricular assist device

  • Phd
  • Full cost of UK/EU tuition fees, plus a stipend
  • 27 July 2018

Subject areas: Medicine/ Biochemistry/ Biomedical/ Cardiovascular

Start date: October 2018

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 October 2018.

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 (vWF) breakdown 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 bleeding remains a serious complication of long-term usage of VAD. Bleeding (acquired von Willebrand syndrome) is due to breakdown of high molecular weight (HMW) vWF multimers circulating in blood by ADAMTS13 metalloprotease under high shear stress. 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 from plasma 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 Medical School 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 Medical School’s research activity can be found at the following website:


Candidates must have an upper second class honours degree or a Master's degree or equivalent in Biochemistry/Biomedical/Biology/Microbiology.

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’s English Language entry requirements, please visit –

Due to funding restrictions, this studentship is open to UK/EU candidates only.


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.

Sign Up for Scholarship Updates

Get an email every week that 10.000's of students use to get the latest scholarships.