PhD Studentship in vascular physiology

Havovi ChichgerByHavovi Chichger

PhD Studentship in vascular physiology

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DrHaviChichger Anglia Ruskin University

Project title: Investigating how novel orphan receptors regulate the pulmonary endothelium to identify new therapeutic targets for patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome

About the project: Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is a pressing and current health concern resulting in ~20% intensive care unit admissions and nearly 50% mortality in critical care patients. More recently, COVID-19 has been identified as a major cause of ARDS associated with high mortality and prolonged stay in intensive care unit. A common pathophysiology in ARDS is breakdown of the pulmonary microvasculature leading to pulmonary edema formation (water on the lungs) and low blood oxygen in patients. Current treatment options, such as mechanical ventilator treatment, can actually exacerbate the degree of lung injury. This research project focuses on identifying new and targeted therapeutic tools to improve pulmonary microvascular function in settings of ARDS.

Our research is focused on understanding the signalling molecules which regulate the pulmonary microvasculature and how this knowledge can be used to develop new treatments for patients with ARDS. More recent studies have focused on the expression and function of novel GPCRs in the lung endothelium in settings of ARDS. While the evolutionary function of these taste receptors in extraoral locations appears unconventional, we previously identified that these novel GPCRs play a key role in regulating the microvasculature using both in vitro and in vivo studies.

The objective of this project is to further our understanding of these novel GPCRs with the aim of developing novel therapeutic tools which will reduce the hyperpermeable state of the pulmonary vasculature. Studies will focus on investigating the molecular mechanisms underlying these therapeutic tools (in vitro studies) as well as understanding their physiological (in vivo studies) and clinical implications in settings of ARDS. The 3-year PhD project will be based in the research laboratories in Anglia Ruskin University along with support from collaborators at the University of Cambridge (UK) and Brown University (USA).

About the Studentship: A 3-year studentship is offered, intended to start in September 2023, providing a tax-free stipend of £17,668 per annum plus tuition fees at the UK and International rate. Due to funding restrictions, this studentship is only available as a full-time position.

Project location: Cambridge campus. Prospective candidates who would not be Cambridge-based are encouraged to contact the principal supervisor prior to application (contact details below).

Candidates for this PhD Studentship must demonstrate outstanding qualities and be motivated to complete a PhD within 3 years.

Qualifications: Applicants should have a minimum of a 2.1 Honours degree in a relevant discipline and a relevant level 7 (or equivalent) qualification (e.g., Masters degree). An IELTS (Academic) score of 6.5 minimum (or equivalent) is essential for candidates for whom English is not their first language. In addition to satisfying basic entry criteria, the University will look closely at the qualities, skills, and background of each candidate and what they can bring to their chosen research project in order to ensure successful and timely completion.

Previous experience with molecular or cell biology techniques is essential with experience in mammalian cell culture, protein and mRNA analysis (e.g. Western blot, ELISA, qPCR) desirable.

How to apply: To apply, please visit Biomedical Science PhD, click ‘Apply online’ and complete the application form for full-time study with a start date of September 2023. Please ensure the reference ‘PhD Studentship Sedgwick: Investigating how novel orphan receptors regulate the pulmonary endothelium to identify new therapeutic targets for patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome’ is clearly stated on the application form, under the title ‘Outline of your proposed research’. Within this section of the application form, applicants should include a 500-word outline of the skills that they would bring to this research project and detail any previous relevant experience.

Interested applicants should direct initial queries about the project to Dr Havovi Chichger via email: For enquiries regarding the process and eligibility please contact

Interviews are scheduled to take place in June 2023.

We value diversity at Anglia Ruskin University and welcome applications from all sections of the community.

Closing Date – 26th May 2023.

To apply for this job email your details to

About the author

Havovi Chichger

Havovi Chichger subscriber

Prof in Biomedical Science at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge UK with a focus on models of vascular disruption including acute respiratory distress syndrome and retinopathy