Sport and Exercise Science: Fully Funded PhD Scholarship at Swansea: ghrelin axis

  • Phd
  • Full cost of UK/EU tuition fees, plus a stipend
  • 17 July 2020

Sport and Exercise Science: Fully Funded PhD Scholarship: Investigation of an exercise-induced alteration of the ghrelin axis and its implications in prediabetes
This scholarship is funded by Swansea University's College of Engineering.
Obesity and insulin resistance are both prominent factors in the progression of Type 2 diabetes, with obesity being associated with increased risk of developing insulin resistance. Visceral adiposity is associated with diabetes and atherosclerosis, stemming to the development of the visceral adiposity index (VAI) as a surrogate marker of dysfunction. However, epidemiological studies have shown that not all obese individuals will develop glucose intolerance, with these individuals having a better metabolic profile than expected for their level of adiposity. We theorize that variation seen within the metabolic state of obese individuals may be the result of individualised hormone regulation of peripheral processes that impact dyslipidaemia and hyperglycaemia. It is well established that exercise can benefit individuals who have prediabetes. However, the mechanism in which exercise alters hormone expression is disjointed. The vast majority of published literature advocates endurance exercise in promoting a reduction in hunger through alterations in ghrelin expression. Yet, the impact that this has on the peripheral actions of ghrelin within whole body homeostasis, i.e. adiposity and glucose homeostasis, remain to be elucidated.
The main purpose of this funded PhD scholarship is to assess the effect of exercise on improving insulin sensitivity within overweight individuals, leading to the amelioration of insulin resistance. The study will require the completion of an exercise intervention to investigate alterations in the volume and phenotype of adipose tissue depots. Samples collected throughout this study will be analysed using techniques such as; RT-qPCR, ELISAs, to assess metabolic profile and anthropometric measures and DXA scan to assess visceral adipose index. Further understanding of this principle may allow us to tailor physical activity to promote the greatest benefit on adiposity via the ghrelin axis.
Supervision of this PhD studentship will be undertaken by a multi-disciplinary team that specialise in key areas of the study aims to allow the successful applicant to assess the inter-relationships between adipose tissue phenotypes, glucose homeostasis and resultant complications to prevent the progression of prediabetes through physical activity.
Swansea University
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Swansea University

Swansea, is a coastal city and county, officially known as the City and County of Swansea in Wales.

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Candidates should hold a minimum of an upper second class (2:1) honours degree (or its equivalent) in Sports Science or similar relevant science discipline (Sports and Exercise sciences, Biomedical Sciences & Life Sciences including Biology, Biochemistry, Genetics).
The successful candidate will have laboratory experience (e.g. biochemical assays & understanding of basic PCR techniques), experience being part of a research team during a research trial, a willingness to learn and a keen interest in physical activity and health.
We would normally expect the academic and English Language requirements (IELTS 6.5 overall with 5.5+ in each component) to be met by point of application. For details on the University’s English Language entry requirements, please visit our website.
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 and an annual stipend of £15,009.

There will be additional funds available for research expenses.


Please visit our website for more information.

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