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phd students lab


The Department has limited access to funding and is able to award Research Studentships to Home students when the funding is available. Research Studentships are awarded on a competitive basis and are funded by the research councils, charities, and sometimes by industrial sponsors. We will update this page when funding information becomes available.



 Dr David James scholarships

davidjamesBWDuring his life, Dr David James was a well-respected Departmental Administrator. His legacy provides scholarships for the most gifted postgraduates to pursue focused and original research. The David James Studentship has provided full financial support for a number of PhD students within the Department since October 2011.

And through PhD studentships, the David James Fund is supporting the next generation of Cambridge pharmacologists, whose work will be crucial to developing better treatments for diseases such as cancer, arthritis, diabetes and Parkinson's.



Cardiovascular toxicology PhD Studentship (Fixed Term)


Department of Pharmacology, Central Cambridge






31 July 2015

Closing date

11 September 2015

Developing a human model of drug-induced vascular injury to determine the mechanisms of cardiovascular toxicity

An exciting opportunity has arisen for a PhD student to work on a project funded by AstraZeneca in the research group led by Dr Matthew Harper at the Department of Pharmacology, University of Cambridge ( The project will be carried out in collaboration with Dr Kelly Gray in the Translational Safety Group, Drug Safety and Metabolism at AstraZeneca in Cambridge.

A new drug must be effective but also safe. Cardiovascular toxicities, including vascular damage, thrombosis and heart failure, are a major reason for drugs to be withdrawn from development or after approval. However, drugs associated with vascular damage often show little or no systemic effects in cardiovascular safety studies. Therefore, there is a need for new models that accurately predict human vascular injury.

In this project we will investigate how toxic drugs affect the interactions between vascular cells and circulating blood cells, and how this leads to vascular damage, inflammation and thrombosis. We will use a broad range of techniques, including high resolution imaging, cell culture, myography and flow cytometry, to develop a new ex vivo model of drug-induced vascular damage in human blood vessels. In this way we will provide new mechanistic insights into how drugs cause blood vessel damage.

Applicants should have or expect to obtain a minimum of a UK II.i Honours Degree (or equivalent) in Pharmacology or a related subject including Cellular or Molecular Biology, Physiology. Competition is intense and successful applicants are likely to demonstrate high academic achievements. We are looking for a highly motivated, enthusiastic individual, capable of thinking and working independently, with an interest in, and possibly some knowledge of, vascular biology and drug development or toxicology.

Eligibility: To be eligible for a full award (stipend and university fees) a student must have (a) settled status in the UK, meaning they have no restrictions on how long they can stay; (b) been 'ordinarily resident' in the UK for three years prior to the start of the studentship. This means they must have been normally residing in the UK (apart from temporary or occasional absences), and (c) not been residing in the UK wholly or mainly for the purpose of full-time education (this does not apply to UK or EU nationals). EU citizens who have not been resident in the UK for three years may only be eligible for a fees-only award.

Funding: Full funding covering the University Composition Fee, Maintenance (currently £14,057 pa), an allowance for conference attendance and consumables is provided for up to 4 years, with effect from 1 January 2016.

Informal enquiries about the position can be made to Dr Matthew Harper (

To apply, please e-mail the following at

(A) your CV with full contact details of 2 academic referees (max two A4 pages), (B) your academic transcript(s), and (C) a cover letter (max two A4 pages) highlighting (a) your background/research interests, (b) how you will fit in with this project, (c) what you hope to achieve in the programme and your career aspirations beyond the programme, and (d) why the Department of Pharmacology, University of Cambridge is the best place for you to pursue your interests.

Applications will be assessed as and when they are submitted.

Please quote reference PL06757 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

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