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Mitochondrial dysfunction associated with metabolic stress, and potential new therapies to treat type 2 diabetes S&T75

  • School: School of Science and Technology
  • Study mode(s): Full-time / Part-time
  • Starting: 2022
  • Funding: UK student / EU student (non-UK) / International student (non-EU) / Fully-funded


NTU's Fully-funded PhD Studentship Scheme 2022

Diabetes continues to grow at an alarming rate, with the projected figure rising from an estimated 451 million adults worldwide in 2017, to 693 million by 2045. Furthermore, this follows the increased trend in global levels of obesity that have been reported over the last 30 years. Crucially, over 80% of patients with type 2 diabetes are either overweight or obese, and it is the combination of both high sugar and high fat that has the largest detrimental effect on cell function. At the cellular level, chronic exposure to high glucose and fatty acid levels is associated with the generation of oxidative stress. Central to this is mitochondrial dysfunction.

Recent work from our laboratory has identified key mitochondrial molecules that have altered gene expression and epigenetic gene regulation in type 2 diabetes, as well as a number of mitochondrial proteins that become subject to damaging structural modifications associated with non-enzymatic glyco-oxidation.

This project will determine the mechanisms by which these specific changes in gene expression and protein activity contribute to dysfunction in key cells and tissues central to the control of blood sugar levels, namely skeletal muscle, adipocytes, and insulin secreting pancreatic beta cell. Furthermore, the project will investigate the therapeutic potential of the naturally occurring histidine-containing dipeptide, carnosine, and related slowly-hydrolysable analogues, to reverse these changes and restore normal cellular function. By so doing we hope to develop new classes of drugs to treat obesity and diabetes.

School strategic research priority

The project aligns directly with the research programme of the CHAUD research centre (Centre for Health, Ageing and Understanding Disease).

Entry qualifications

For the eligibility criteria, visit our studentship application page.

How to apply

For guidance and to make an application, please visit our studentship application page. The application deadline is Friday 14 January 2022.

Fees and funding

This is part of NTU's 2022 fully-funded PhD Studentship Scheme.

Guidance and support

Download our full applicant guidance notes for more information.

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