british heart foundation | Scholarship for Nigerians and Africans

Leicester Cardiovascular Biomedical Research Unit PhD Studentship in Computational Modelling in Stroke & Heart Disease, UK

A major preventable cause of brain injury following cardiac surgery comes from showering the brain with embolic debris (particles and air bubbles in the bloodstream). Emboli obstruct blood flow which can lead to tissue damage and/or stroke. This project takes place within a larger British Heart Foundation (BHF) study, which uses patient-specific computer simulations to predict the effects of emboli on cerebral blood-flow during surgery. Computer simulations have potential to provide a clinically useful tool for modelling perfusion injury, predicting brain injury, and guiding interventions. The aim of our BHF project is to extend existing Doppler ultrasound embolus detection methods using a ‘virtual patient’ simulation. The role of the PhD student will be to determine whether our virtual patient models provide valuable predictive information on cerebral perfusion correlating to physical damage seen in patients’ Magnetic Resonance (MR) Images. The project will use angiography data to develop models of the cerebral arteries, combining patient specific information with generic models of the microvasculature. Predictions based on ultrasound monitoring during surgery will be compared to the results of MR scans and neuropsychological tests. Our team collaborates closely with surgeons and physicians within the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust and has an established track record in Medical Physics research. The project will provide the student with training in medical imaging techniques (ultrasound and MR), clinical research methods, and modelling of vascular physiology. We are seeking a hard working, highly motivated student with good computational and communication skills and an interest in working in a clinical environment.
Eligibility: UK and EU nationals/permanent residents only. Entry Requirements: Applicants should hold a 1st or 2.1 degree in Physics, Engineering or a numerate discipline and have an interest in computational modeling.

Scholarship Application Deadline: 1 June 2011
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Graduate Research Assistantship: Signalling Pathways in Cardiogenesis, Oxford University, UK

We are looking for a highly motivated graduate research assistant with a BSc and/or MSc in a relevant discipline, an interest in cell signalling, ideally with experience in cell culture, molecular cloning, transfections, cell-based luciferase assays, siRNA techniques (including high-throughput screening), and microscopy. The candidate will work together with a postdoctoral fellow on cell signalling pathways (e.g. BMP, WNT, HH, NOTCH, FGF) that are important in heart formation using cell-based assays.

The post is available from 1 June 2011 for up to five years, and is funded by a British Heart Foundation Programme Grant Award to Professor Shoumo Bhattacharya. Our laboratory is located at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics, which provides an outstanding working environment, with excellent core facilities and opportunities for interactions.

Scholarship Application Deadline: 18 February 2011

Further Scholarship Information and Application