This studentship is an exciting opportunity to join the Centre for Ageing Research (C4AR) at Lancaster University to work within this internationally highly regarded multidisciplinary centre that focuses on the challenges of ageing from a range of perspectives.
The studentship will focus on impact evaluation of a women’s day centre in West Yorkshire. Women who attend are aged >50 and largely from the South Asian community. The area has higher hospital admittance for falls amongst >65s, greater income deprivation amongst >60s and a range of health inequalities in comparison with adjacent areas. The project aims to facilitate social engagement (including peer support), provides physical activity and a range of wellbeing opportunities, including intergenerational projects with children.
Women are more likely to be diagnosed as frail in older age than men, and frailty is associated with greater risk of adverse outcomes in women. However, anecdotal observations of women who attend the centre suggest that falls are less likely than expected for the area, and quality of life improves.
Aim: To evaluate whether there is evidence for these observations, whether there are aspects of the provision that have particular impact and what is the experience and perceptions of the women and volunteers.
Methods: Triangulated mixed methods, four components (i) Literature review of impact of day-centres (ii) retrospective analysis of existing data on women who attend the centre to compare longitudinally and with local statistics on health outcomes. (iii) Current assessment of frailty, including psychological and social variables (e.g. loneliness) and outcomes (falls, QoL) from when people first attend to 6 months later. (iv) Qualitative work to examine experiences and components of the provision that older women, volunteers, and families perceive as having impact. Within this, we will specifically examine their experience of an intergenerational project.
The student: You will have experience and confidence in both quantitative and qualitative methods, although further training will be provided. You will be motivated to work relatively independently in the field, and show cultural awareness suitable for work with this population. Some knowledge of Urdu or Punjabi would be helpful but not essential.
For further information about the project please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.comAn opportunity has arisen in the Division of Biomedical and Life Sciences (BLS) at Lancaster University for a talented researcher to investigate the possibility of repurposing an existing drug for the treatment of the world’s leading form of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The post is fully funded including stipend, tuition fees and reagent costs (the latter largely funded by the ‘Defying Dementia’ campaign founded at the University; https://www.lancaster.ac.uk/defyingdementia/). You will be supported by an experienced and dedicated team of scientists; Dr. Ed Parkin, Dr. Chris Gaffney, Dr. Neil Dawson and Dr. Alex Benedetto who all excel in research areas relevant to the proposed PhD project (see https://www.lancaster.ac.uk/bls/people/ for further information).
Project specifics: AD may be caused by aberrant proteolysis of the amyloid-precursor-protein (APP) producing neurotoxic amyloid-b (Ab)-peptides . The enzyme ADAM10 cleaves APP precluding Ab-peptide formation leading, instead, to the formation of the neuroprotective fragment, sAPPa. ADAM10 also releases the prion protein, which binds Ab-peptides and mediates their toxicity, from the surface of neurons. Therefore, enhancing ADAM10 activity in the brain represents a potential multi-mechanistic AD therapy . Gemfibrozil, a drug currently used for cholesterol reduction, enhances cellular ADAM10 levels and traverses the blood-brain-barrier . The current study will combine cell and in vivo (rodent and worm) models to investigate whether this drug can be repurposed for the treatment of AD.
Career benefits: You will develop broad expertise in a wide range of experimental methodologies including molecular biology, cell culture, immunohistochemistry, behavioural analysis and functional neuronal imaging in multiple systems. You will validate cell culture experiments in C. elegans and rodent models where the drug’s ability to protect cognition and brain function will be tested in a preclinical AD model. Given the importance of ADAM10 in other research areas including cancer, you will benefit from a range of future research employment possibilities. Furthermore, BLS provides extensive opportunities for professional development and has a highly supportive Divisional level support structure in place for post-graduate research students.
Prof Carol Holland
Dr Qian Xiong
Scheme to apply for:
PhD Health Research October 2019