MRes/PhD Studentship in Genetics

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Amar Annamalai
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MRes/PhD Studentship in Genetics

MRes/PhD Studentship in Genetics - Does Anti-Retroviral Therapy Accelerate the Speed of Physiological Ageing Through the Clonal Expansion of MtDNA Mutations?

Newcastle University

Qualification type:


Funding for:
UK Students, EU Students

Funding amount:

Full Time

Placed on:
16th February 2015

16th May 2015


The funding covers 4-year integrated MRes/PhD. MRes will be in a relevant subject area by agreement of the supervisory team.
The award covers tuition fees at the UK/EU rate and an annual stipend of £14,057 (2015-16).

Project Start Date:
October 2015.


John William Luccock and Ernest Jeffcock studentship

Project Description

Interested in why we age? Interested in helping improve the long-term health of patients with HIV? This PhD project will explore the intersection of these important topics.

Patients with long-term treated HIV exhibit features of accelerated biological ageing. Currently we don’t understand why this happens, or the consequences for health. You will investigate the hypothesis that certain anti-HIV drugs act on mitochondrial DNA mutations occurring due to normal ageing, and cause them to expand within cells (a process known as ‘clonal expansion’), leading to physiological impairment.

You will work with a mouse model of mitochondrial ageing and tissue samples from patients. You will learn a wide variety of molecular techniques, including massively parallel sequencing. You will also be trained in bioinformatic analysis.

Name of the Supervisor(s)

Dr B PayneInstitute of Genetic MedicineNewcastle University
Professor P ChinneryInstitute of Genetic MedicineNewcastle University

Person Specification and Eligibility Criteria

You must have, or expect to achieve, a first-class or upper-second-class Honours degree in a subject relating to the biomedical sciences or a related area such as microbiology.

It is expected that the applicant will pursue the 4-year integrated MRes/PhD, but exceptional candidates may be considered for a 3 year PhD.

This award is available to UK/EU and International applicants. If English is not your first language, you must have IELTS 7 with at least 6.5 in the written component, or equivalent. Non-EU applicants will need to demonstrate that they can secure funding for the difference in fees between the International and EU rates.

How to Apply

You must apply through the University’s online postgraduate application form. Only mandatory fields need to be completed. However, you will need to include the following information:

  • insert the programme code 4850F in the programme of study section
  • select ‘Master of Research/Doctor of Philosophy (Medical Sciences) – Genetic Medicine’ as the programme of study
  • insert the studentship code HG054 in the studentship/partnership reference field 
  • attach a covering letter and CV. The covering letter must state the title of the studentship, quote the studentship reference code HG054 and state how your interests and experience relate to the project 
  • attach degree transcripts and certificates and,if English is not your first language, a copy of your English language qualifications

Please also send your covering letter and CV to Dr Brendan Payne by email to

Closing Date for Applications

Prompt application is advised as this position is only available until a suitable candidate is found.

Further Information

For further details, please contact:

Dr Brendan Payne, Institute of Genetic Medicine