PhD Studentship, Clinical and Experimental Sciences

Southampton, United Kingdom
£16,062 pa
16 May 2022
End of advertisement period
06 Jun 2022
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Clinical and Experimental Sciences

Location:  Southampton General Hospital
Closing Date:  Monday 06 June 2022
Reference:  1810722FC

Main Supervisor:  Dr Mark Jones

Other members of the supervisory team:   Prof Donna Davies, Dr Yihua Wang, Dr Rob Ewing

Duration of the award:   4 years, full time

Fully funded PhD studentship - Misprogramming of mesenchymal progenitor cells in human lung fibrosis

Project description: 

Fibrosis is a common endpoint of inflammatory diseases and is implicated in >20% of deaths in worldwide.  The importance of understanding why inflammation progresses to fibrosis has further increased during the COVID-19 pandemic where we were the first group worldwide to identify the presence of long COVID fibrosis at 12 months after COVID-19 infection. In the Lung Fibrosis Group at the University of Southampton we apply state-of-the-art technologies integrating structural, molecular, and tissue biology approaches including spatial transcriptomics to identify the key factors in the human lung microenvironment that determine why in some individuals fibrosis progresses rather than normal tissue repair occurs.  We translate our findings using advanced 3D models of the human lung fibrosis microenvironment to investigate underlying mechanisms, and work in collaboration with Pharma to investigate therapeutic targeting. 

This project will investigate the hypothesis that misprogramming of mesenchymal cells plays a key role in progressive fibrosis, focusing on key pathways that we have recently identfied. The mix of techniques used will depend on student preference and the most suitable approaches to the detailed aims defined prior to the start of the project. The project will provide excellent wide-ranging training in state-of-the-art methodologies including advanced 3D cell culture, molecular biology, proteomics, and computational analysis of large datasets including spatial transcriptomics. You will perform mechanistic studies using gene editing and small molecule inhibitor approaches, investigating functional consequences within tissue-engineered models of fibrosis.

The student will follow the 4 year integrated PhD programme (Immunity and infection pathway).

Please contact:  Informal enquiries may be addressed to Dr Mark Jones (

Person Specification here

The successful candidate is likely to have the following qualifications:

  • A 1stor 2:1 degree in a relevant discipline and/or second degree with a related Masters

Funding information:

This prestigious Holgate Studentship is fully funded by the AAIR Charity, for fees UK only, stipend and project costs.   Eligible students will be paid at the standard UK Research Council recommended rate; for 2022/23 this is £16,062 pa.

Administrative contact and how to apply:

You should enter Dr Mark Jones as your proposed supervisor. To support your application provide an academic CV (including contact details of two referees), official academic transcripts and a personal statement (outlining your suitability for the studentship, what you hope to achieve from the PhD and your research experience to date).

Closing date: 6th June 2022

Interview date:    Week commencing 13th June 2022