Dementia, of which Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) is the main form, currently affects 50 million people worldwide and this is set to triple by 2050. Two-thirds of AD patients are female. Work generated by our group over the last five years has indicated that this is partly due to a greater physiological impact of the ‘risky’ APOE4 genotype (25% UK population) on age-related cognitive decline in females along with a significant loss of cognitive function associated with the menopausal transition. We have additionally shown that in females, ageing, having an APOE4 genotype, and being post-menopausal is associated with a loss of neuronal synaptic function, neuroinflammation and lower levels of the omega-3 fatty acid, DHA, in the brain.
The PhD will use data from the UK BIOBANK cohort (n=260,000 females), animal models, and a range of laboratory (e.g. GC-FID for brain and blood fatty acid analysis) and molecular biology techniques, to investigate the independent and interactive impact of APOE genotype, DHA intake and status, menopause and estrogen replacement therapy on neurophysiology and cognition.
The research will contribute to the identification of effective strategies to promote brain health in older ages in women. In addition, the student will be provided with training in scientific writing, presentation, data management, communication and entrepreneurship skills, encouraged to attend and present at national and international conferences, and undertake a three-month placement.
This project will suit applicants with a primary or MSc degree in nutrition, biochemistry, neurosciences or related biological science.
The Norwich Research Park Biosciences Doctoral Training Partnership (NRPDTP) is open to the UK and international candidates for entry in October 2022 and offers postgraduates the opportunity to undertake a 4-year PhD research project whilst enhancing professional development and research skills through a comprehensive training programme. You will join a vibrant community of world-leading researchers. All NRPDTP students undertake a three-month professional internship placement (PIPS) during their study. The placement offers exciting and invaluable work experience designed to enhance professional development. Full support and advice will be provided by our Professional Internship team. Students with, or expecting to attain, at least an upper second class honours degree, or equivalent, are invited to apply.
This project has been shortlisted for funding by the NRPDTP programme. Shortlisted applicants will be interviewed on Tuesday 25th January, Wednesday 26th January and Thursday 27th January 2022.
You can visit the Norwich Research Park Biosciences Doctoral Training Partnership pages for further information on eligibility and the application process.
Our partners value diverse and inclusive work environments that are positive and supportive. Students are selected for admission without regard to gender, marital or civil partnership status, disability, race, nationality, ethnic origin, religion or belief, sexual orientation, age or social background.