PhD in Neuroimmunology

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Website cardiffuni Cardiff University

Closing date: 30th June 2021


PhD in Neuroimmunology – Unravelling the genetic basis and the functional relevance of the genetic association at the clusterin gene with risk of Alzheimer’s disease

Hypothesis free, genome-wide association studies of AD have highlighted novel genes and biological pathways, not previously thought to play a role in disease, as pivotal in disease aetiology. In AD over 70 genes are now known to effect disease risk. Aside from APOE and a handful of rare protein-coding mutations, the majority of AD risk variants influence disease with small effect sizes (around 1.2 fold increase/decrease in risk). This includes a gene called CLU which carries the code for a protein found in plasma called clusterin. Clusterin is of particular interest as it is known to interact with amyloid-beta, the primary component of neuropathological plaques a hallmark of AD. Small changes in the CLU gene increase risk of developing AD, though precisely how is unknown. The proposed studentship will address this question first by fine mapping the CLU gene using genotyping and sequencing data to identify potentially functional genetic variation and correlating CLU genetics with measurements of clusterin in blood, spinal fluid and brain; these new tests will reveal whether AD-linked changes in CLU cause changes in amounts of clusterin that might be the causal link and a treatment target. Cultured cells will be used to confirm that the effects are due to altered clusterin production. 

Funding Notes

The studentship is generously funded by the Alzheimer’s Society.
Full UK tuition fees
Doctoral stipend matching UK Research Council National Minimum.
Additional funding is available over the course of the programme and will cover costs such as research consumables and training.
Applicants should possess a minimum of an upper second class Honours degree, master’s degree, or equivalent in a relevant subject.
Applicants whose first language is not English are normally expected to meet the minimum University requirements (e.g. 6.5 IELTS)


This studentship has a start date of October 2021. In order to be considered you must submit a formal application via Cardiff University’s online application service. (To access the system click ‘Apply Online’ at the bottom of this advert)  or use this link;
There is a box at the top right of the page labelled ‘Apply’, please ensure you select the correct ‘Qualification’ (Doctor of Philosophy), the correct ‘Mode of Study’ (Full Time) and the correct ‘Start Date’ (October 2021). This will take you to the application portal.
In order to be considered candidates must submit the following information:• Supporting statement
• CV
• Qualification certificates
• References x 2
• Proof of English language (if applicable)

To apply for this job please visit

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