RVC Supervisor(s): Dr Matthew Gage

Non RVC Supervisor: Prof. Inés Pineda-Torra (University College London)

Department: Comparative Biomedical Sciences 

Project Summary:

 Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of worldwide mortality. Insulin is widely recognised as an anabolic hormone which plays a significant role in glucose and lipid metabolism. However, insulin is now established to play a role in inflammatory responses - which may affect the pathogenesis of cardiometabolic diseases such as diabetes and the main pathology underlying cardiovascular disease: atherosclerosis.

The mechanisms of how insulin affects blood glucose has been well studied. However, how insulin regulates inflammation and how dysregulated insulin levels in cardiometabolic disease may affect cardiovascular disease development are largely understudied and remain unclear.

The aim of this PhD studentship will be to explore insulin signaling in macrophages.

Approach: This project will involve mice, human samples and cell lines, incorporating a range of techniques including but not limited to: Genotyping, dissections, immunohistochemistry, histology, RT-qPCR, RNA Seq+ data analysis, cell line and primary cell culture, PCR, Western blotting, in vitro functional assays.



  • Must meet our standard PhD entry requirements
  • Must hold a degree in a relevant subject to develop the project (e.g. biology, biochemistry, infectious diseases, immunology, veterinary medicine, bioveterinary sciences).
  • The candidate must be self-motivated, resilient and have a genuine interest in the cardiometabolic disease field. 


  •   Previous experience in a lab and basic molecular biology techniques and cell culture are desirable.

 The project relies on the use of mice and therefore the candidate may need to acquire a Personal Home Office licence (training will be provided) and be willing to work with experimental mouse models of cardiometabolic disease.

If you are interested in applying for this position, please complete our online application form by following the link below. Please use your personal statement to demonstrate any your background in cell/molecular biology, parasitology, genetics or equivalent disciplines. We are looking for a highly motivated and enthusiastic PhD student who can show their commitment, team working and the ability to take responsibility for their own project.

This is a 3-year British Heart Foundation fully-funded studentship, covering tuition fees and stipend. This studentship is open to applicants eligible for "Home" fees. International applicants are welcome to apply but must be able to fund the difference between "Home" and "Overseas" tuition fees. 

Please note that EU/EEA and Swiss national students may no longer be eligible to pay the “home” rate of tuition fees nor claim any financial support for their studies dependent on personal circumstances (including immigration status and residence history in the UK). To help determine whether you would be eligible for home fees please see the UKCISA's 'Who pays 'home' fees for higher education in England?' guide found here.

 The studentship will commence September/October 2022.


  1. Batty MJ, Chabrier G, Sheridan A, Gage MC. Metabolic Hormones Modulate Macrophage Inflammatory Responses. Cancers. 2021 Sep 17;13(18):4661. doi: 10.3390/cancers13184661. PMID: 34572888; PMCID: PMC8467249.
  2. Thibaut R, Gage MC, Pineda-Torra I, Chabrier G, Venteclef N, Alzaid F. Liver macrophages and inflammation in physiology and physiopathology of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. FEBS J. 2021 Apr 15. doi: 10.1111/febs.15877.
  3. Disrupting LXRα phosphorylation promotes FoxM1 expression and modulates atherosclerosis by inducing macrophage proliferation Gage, M C; Bécares, N; Louie, R; Waddington, K E; Zhang, Y; Tittanegro, T H; Rodríguez-Lorenzo, S; Jathanna, A; Pourcet, B; Pello, O M; De la Rosa, J. V.; Castrillo, A; Pineda-Torra, I, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 2018


How to Apply

For more information on the application process and English language requirements see please see How to Apply.

 We welcome informal enquiries - these should be directed to Dr. Matthew Gage: mgage@rvc.ac.uk 

 Deadline: Sunday 3rd July 2022

Deadline: 03/07/2022

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