PhD Studentship - Endocrine Sciences

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Jitendra Sinha
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PhD Studentship - Endocrine Sciences

Age-related decline in steroid hormones and male senescence
Professor FCW Wu, Dr T O’Neill & Dr N Pendleton
The European Male Ageing Study (EMAS) invites applications for a distinguished 3-year PhD studentship commencing in October 2009. Funding will provide full support for the UK/EU tuition fee and a tax-free annual stipend of £13, 290. Applications are restricted to UK/EU nationals only due to the nature of the funding.
EMAS is a pan-European population-based study of male ageing aiming to identify ageing phenotypes in men. The objective is to determine how changes in hormone levels impact on the occurrence of dysfunctional symptoms, development of frailty and deterioration in quality of life. Findings from this longitudinal study will inform interventional trials and preventative health policies to promote healthy ageing in men.
A central hypothesis is that inter-individual variability in male ageing deterioration can be explained by different rates of decline in sex steroid levels (testosterone (T), dihydrotestosterone (DHT), oestradiol (E2), adrenal steroid (dehydroepiandrsterone sulphate (DHEA0-S)) and Vitamin D which are in turn influenced by lifestyle and other factors. These are collectively referred to as steroid hormones.
The purpose of this PhD project is to:
• Characterise the rate of decline in sex steroid levels in middle aged and elderly European men.
• Determine the influence of declining steroid hormone levels on changes in body composition, bone mass, frailty, cognition and both physical, psychological and sexual functioning in European men.
• Define a clinical syndrome of ‘late-onset hypogonadism’ or ‘male menopause’ based on the association between symptoms and objective evidence of T deficiency.
The study will involve substantial statistical analysis of over 3, 300 European men independently assessed through EMAS over a period of four years. Linear and multiple regression methods will seek to determine the influence of alterations in steroid hormone levels on bone mass, body composition and physical, sexual and cognitive functioning.
The successful applicant will develop a wide variety of epidemiological, biostatistical and endocrinology techniques and have the opportunity to collaborate with internationally recognised experts within the EMAS project. Upon completion of the project, the candidate will be ideally placed to progress into a post-doctoral position.
Applications are welcomed from candidates holding, or expecting to obtain, a first or upper second-class honours degree in a relevant subject such as biological sciences, medical sciences, medical statistics or epidemiology. Previous experience of quantitative research would be an advantage.
Interested candidates should submit a CV and detailed covering letter outlining their suitability for the project to Professor Frederick Wu at
Contact details for two academic or professional referees should also be provided.
Applications will be welcomed up to and including Friday 5 June 2009. Early expression of interest is advised.
For further details on the study or to confirm your suitability please contact the project lead, Professor Frederick Wu at the above address.