3-year Ph.D. studentship in Biomedical Science/Biochemistry/Immunology

We are looking for an ambitious candidate to take on a Ph.D training on a project entitled “Inhibiting IL-17 production by blocking endogenous RORγt agonists for the treatment of autoimmune diseases”. We are passionate to train the next generation biomedical scientist in drug discovery. This is a collaboration project between oxysterol group, molecular modelling group and immunology group at Swansea University Medical School. The studentship is funded by Life Sciences Research Network Wales and Swansea University for 3 years.

Interleukin-17 (IL-17) is a pro-inflammatory signalling protein which plays a pivotal role in driving autoimmunity and inflammatory diseases. Thymus retinoic acid-related orphan receptor gamma (RORγt), a nuclear hormone receptor which controls both IL-17 production by Th17 cells and conversion of naïve CD4+ T cells into Th17 cells, has emerged as a hot drug target for IL-17 inhibitors. A number cholesterol related molecules, including precursors in the cholesterol biosynthetic pathway and also cholesterol metabolites are reported to activate RORγt, however, there is still a debate on exactly which molecule functions as the endogenous ligand(s) driving IL-17 production in Th17 cells. The aim of this project is to elucidate the cholesterol metabolism pathway in Th17 cells and design new drugs to target this pathway.

You will work at the Institute of Life Science at Swansea University Medical School and will be trained on cutting edge technologies such as mass spectrometry, flow cytometry and in silico molecular modelling. There are also opportunities for you to present your work at national and international meetings. Students trained in our group often deliver first author publications in international journals and secure employments in biotech companies. Tentative start date on October 2016. For further information, please contact Dr Yuqin Wang on


Applicants should have a minimum of a 2.1 undergraduate degree or a Master’s degree or equivalent in Biomedical Science, or Biochemistry.


The studentship covers the full cost of UK/EU tuition fees, plus a tax free stipend of £14,296 p.a.

UK/EU and international students are welcome to apply, although only UK/EU tuition fees are covered by this studentship. International students will be required to pay the difference between UK/EU and international tuition fees.

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