Aston University

PhD Studentship Nutritional deficiencies and microvascular function in patients with chronic eye disease

Job description

Applications are invited for a three year Postgraduate studentship, supported by the College of Health and Life Sciences, to be undertaken within the Optometry and Vision Sciences Research Group at Aston University. The successful applicant will join an established experimental group working on retinal vascular function and nutritional deficiencies in chronic eye diseases. The studentship is offered in collaboration with Aprofol AG (Ltd.), Switzerland. The position is available to start in October 2021. Financial Support This studentship includes a fee bursary to cover the Home fees rate, plus a maintenance allowance of £15,609 (subject to eligibility). Background to the Project Patients with chronic eye diseases, such as glaucoma, AMD and DR suffer from a generalized micronutrients deficiency that includes, among others, folate, Vitamin B6 and B12. These deficiencies contribute to an abnormal Hcy metabolism and, therefore, to abnormal microcirculation, increased severity of chronic ocular diseases but also to systemic vascular complications, including cardiovascular disease (CVD). Many studies have looked at the importance of vitamin supplementations in these patients. Nevertheless, so far there is no research looking at the effect of such supplementation on retinal microcirculation in parallel with a systemic vascular outcome. By using our unique experience and research set-up, the aims of the proposed research are: 1) to prospectively determine the effect of vitamins and L-Methylfolate Calcium on retinal vascular function, retinal venous pressure as well as on disease prognosis in patients with chronic eye diseases; 2) to determine the effect of the above supplementation on each patient’ risk for CVD, and; 3) to provide data for evidence-based individual-tailored health-improving interventions. The student will benefit from working with a highly successful inter-disciplinary team and will gain knowledge and expertise not only in various ocular imaging methods but also in highly specialised laboratory blood assessments. They will also have the opportunity of using modern data-processing techniques and get exposed to the modern principles of personalized medicine. In addition, will also benefit from input from our prestigious partner, Aprofol AG (Ltd.). All this experience will contribute towards creating a translational scientist with high and desirable scientific potential. Person Specification The successful applicant should have been awarded, or expect to achieve, a Masters degree in a relevant subject with a 60% or higher weighted average, and/or a First or Upper Second Class Honours degree (or an equivalent qualification from an overseas institution) in medicine, optometry, biomedical sciences, pharmacy or other related areas. Preferred skill requirements include knowledge/experience of working with patients in a hospital or health practice environment and good communication skills...

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