PhD Studentship available in the lab of Dr Richard Mackenzie – pancreatic beta cells, skeletal muscles and type 2 diabetes

A new exciting PhD position is open now in the lab of Dr Richard Mackenzie at the University of Roehampton!

Title of the Project: PhD Studentship: Cross-talk between Skeletal muscle and pancreatic b-cell – The contribution of b-cell dysfunction to the progression of type 2 diabetes

Project Background

We know that peripheral insulin resistance precedes β-cell dysfunction in the progression of type 2 diabetics (T2Ds) (Stumvoll et al., 2005). Insulin resistance in peripheral tissue, such as skeletal muscle, has received a great deal of scientific attention owing to its glucose storage capacity. Yet less is known about β-cell function and even less is known about the interaction or cross-talk between muscle and the pancreas. Yet both pathological states (insulin resistance and β-cell function) influence each other and synergistically exacerbate diabetes. This tight relationship between insulin resistance and β-cell function can be quantified using a measure known as the dispositional index (DI) (Mackenzie et al 2011; Naufahu et al., 2018).

Skeletal muscle is now thought to act in an endocrine fashion by producing and releasing muscle derived factors in response to stresses such as exercise. These factors include proteins referred to as myokines, as well as metabolites and exosomes (Barlow & Solomon). These muscle derived factors may provide a mechanism whereby muscle is able to communicate with other tissue within the body to promote improvements in whole body homeostasis, such recovery in β-cell function post exercise.

This PhD studentship will investigate cross-talk between skeletal muscle and pancreatic β-cells to help improve our understanding of the pathophysiology of pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes. This PhD project will provide students with the opportunity to development a range of skills including; isotope methodology, liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry, immunomicroscopy and miRNA analysis.

Potential candidates can come from a variety of backgrounds including biomedical sciences, human physiology, nutrition and exercise science.

This programme is a three-years, full-time, doctoral research studentship and will come with a full bursary, in addition to a full tuition fee waiver and consumable costs. Start date January 2019

For more details, please contact Dr Richard Mackenzie ( / Tel 02083923562).

Closing date for applications 16th October 2018.

Interview will take place in the week beginning 10th December 2018.

Click here to apply: