PhD Studentship, Molecular and Cellular Biosciences

Southampton, United Kingdom
06 Jul 2022
End of advertisement period
15 Jul 2022
Academic Discipline
Life sciences, Biological Sciences
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Molecular and Cellular biosciences

Location:  Southampton General Hospital
Closing Date:  Friday 15 July 2022
Reference:  1889722BJ

Main Supervisor: Dr Nicole Prior

Other members of the supervisory team:  Dr Jaswinder Sethi, Dr Ryan Buchanan and Professor Chris Byrne

Amount of stipend and fees: ~£16,000

Duration of the award: Four years, full-time.

Uncovering the drivers of Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease progression using patient derived organoids

Project description: 

The NIHR Southampton Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) is internationally regarded for the high quality of its translational research in Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD).

NAFLD represents a spectrum of chronic liver diseases that ultimately increase the risk of liver failure and/or of primary liver cancer. NAFLD is also a major indication for liver transplantation.

Working with research-active surgeons at University Hospital Southampton, we are establishing a laboratory-based research project focused on achieving a greater understanding of the mechanisms driving disease progression and strategies to reverse NAFLD.

The project aims to understand the mechanisms driving the progression of NAFLD toward end stage liver disease using established state-of the-art organoid, omic and imaging technologies to identify potential therapeutic strategies.

We are seeking a talented individual who is keen to undertake research with us towards a PhD thesis.

Please contact:   Dr Nicole Prior (

Person Specification: 

Can be found here, including you will have some laboratory experience at undergraduate level. You will undertake a series of studies that enable you to establish liver organoids derived from patient samples, to generate an accessible and scalable system in which to investigate mechanisms driving NAFLD progression at the cellular level. This would allow us to test gene function implicated in NAFLD, and also perform drug screening in vitro, aimed at treating liver disease

You are a UK graduate who has or expects to obtain at least an upper second-class degree in Biological Sciences or allied subjects. You will meet the University of Southampton’s person specification for PhD candidates, which incorporates a full equality, diversity, and inclusivity policy.

Funding information: 

Due to funding restrictions this position is only open to UK applicants.
Amount of stipend and fees: ~£16,000 plus fees at UK rate only.

Administrative contact and how to apply:

Please complete the University's online application form, which you can find at

You should enter BRC/UoS/202223/842 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).

Please note:

  • You must state project code NLM1 in the Personal Statement section of the online application.
  • The online application references an Application Assessment Fee which is not required for this studentship as it is a postgraduate research degree.

Informal enquiries relating to the project or candidate suitability should be directed to Dr Nicole Prior (

 Closing date: Friday 15th July 2022 

Interview date:  To be confirmed