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This is a project examining the molecular mechanisms of atherosclerosis progression in humans. The study will rely on the Oxford Cohort for Heart Vessels and Fat (ox-HVF), which includes a bioresource of human vascular and myocardial tissue from ~1500 patients who underwent cardiac surgery, with simultaneous extensive molecular, structural and functional phenotyping of their arterial tree.

The project will include prospective advanced vascular imaging using computerised tomography angiography as means of characterising changes in atherosclerotic plaque structure/composition as well as intima hyperplasia, over time. Using a translational approach the project will also include mechanistic experiments using ex vivo models of human vessels and other experimental approaches, to investigate the role of vascular redox signalling directly in the pathogenesis of human vascular disease.

Training Opportunities

Training will be given in relevant scientific techniques. Students will have access to a wide-range of seminars and training opportunities through the many research institutes and centres based in Oxford. Students are also able to attend the Methods and Techniques course run by the MRC Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine. This course runs through the year, ensuring that students have the opportunity to build a broad-based understanding of differing research techniques.

Generic skills training is offered through the Medical Sciences Division's Skills Training Programme. This programme offers a comprehensive range of courses covering many important areas of researcher development: knowledge and intellectual abilities, personal effectiveness, research governance and organisation, and engagement, influence and impact. Students are actively encouraged to take advantage of the training opportunities available to them.

The department has a successful mentoring scheme, open to graduate students, which provides an additional possible channel for personal and professional development outside the regular supervisory framework. We hold an Athena SWAN Silver Award in recognition of our efforts to support the careers of female students and staff.

Publications

1 Antoniades C, Bakogiannis C, Leeson P, Guzik TJ, Zhang MH, Tousoulis D, Antonopoulos AS, Demosthenous M, Marinou K, Hale A, Paschalis A, Psarros C, Triantafyllou C, Bendall J, Casadei B, Stefanadis C, Channon KM. 2011. Rapid, direct effects of statin treatment on arterial redox state and nitric oxide bioavailability in human atherosclerosis via tetrahydrobiopterin-mediated endothelial nitric oxide synthase coupling.Circulation,  124 (3), pp. 335-45. - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21730307
2 Antonopoulos AS, Margaritis M, Coutinho P, Shirodaria C, Psarros C, Herdman L, Sanna F, De Silva R, Petrou M, Sayeed R, Krasopoulos G, Lee R, Digby J, Reilly S, Bakogiannis C, Tousoulis D, Kessler B, Casadei B, Channon KM, Antoniades C. 2015. Adiponectin as a link between type 2 diabetes and vascular NADPH oxidase activity in the human arterial wall: the regulatory role of perivascular adipose tissue.Diabetes,  64 (6), pp. 2207-19. - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25552596
3 Antonopoulos AS, Margaritis M, Verheule S, Recalde A, Sanna F, Herdman L, Psarros C, Nasrallah H, Coutinho P, Akoumianakis I, Brewer AC, Sayeed R, Krasopoulos G, Petrou M, Tarun A, Tousoulis D, Shah AM, Casadei B, Channon KM, Antoniades C. 2016. Mutual Regulation of Epicardial Adipose Tissue and Myocardial Redox State by PPAR-γ/Adiponectin Signalling.Circ. Res.,  118 (5), pp. 842-55. - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26838789
4

Antonopoulos AS, Sanna F, Sabharwal N, Thomas S, Oikonomou EK, Herdman L, Margaritis M, Shirodaria C, Kampoli AM, Akoumianakis I, Petrou M, Sayeed R, Krasopoulos G, Psarros C, Ciccone P, Brophy CM, Digby J, Kelion A, Uberoi R, Anthony S, Alexopoulos N, Tousoulis D, Achenbach S, Neubauer S, Channon KM, Antoniades C. 2017. Detecting human coronary inflammation by imaging perivascular fat. Sci Transl Med. 2017 Jul 12;9(398). pii: eaal2658. doi: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aal2658.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28701474

Research Themes, Tools and Technologies

Supervisors

Key Dates for October 2018 Entry

The deadline for funded applications was 8 January 2018.

We are still accepting applications from candidates who are able to secure funding elsewhere until 12 noon on Friday 27 July 2018.

Some projects may have earlier deadline dates. Please check the project description carefully if you are considering applying.

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How to apply

To apply for a place on the DPhil in Medical Sciences you will need to submit an application using the online application form.

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