Cell Biology PhD / MPhil / MD

Cell biology encompasses research of the cell and its organelles' structural and functional roles, physiology, signalling, cell stress, cell communications, and its applications to the diagnosis and therapy of disease. We integrate expertise in cell biology, structural biology, signalling and the use of model organisms.

Why study with us?

  • 100%

    4* and 3* in research environment in Clinical Medicine REF (2014).

  • 309

    academic members of staff.

  • 359

    postgraduate research students.

Overview

We're a leading international centre for research into the fundamental principles of human physiology, with expertise in all aspects of modern physiology.

Our experimental approaches involve biochemical, behavioural, electrophysiological, molecular, structural and state-of art imaging (such as multiphoton confocal, spinning disk, light sheet and 3D electron microscopy) applied to mammalian cell systems and also to model organisms such as Caenorhabdities elegans, Drosophila melanogaster, Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Dictyostelium. 

Our exciting and dynamic research environment  benefits from increasing collaboration with academic clinicians looking for cell-based and cell targeted therapies.

Research interests focus on:

  • Neuronal cell and synaptic biology, including developmental cell biology and how neuronal intracellular signals are translated into physiological responses 
  • Role of cellular chaperone proteins in protection from damaging challenges and biological stresses  
  • Role of key cell signalling pathways (e.g. NFKappaB, Wnt, Erk1/2, AKT etc.) and intracellular messengers (calcium, IP3, cAMP etc.) in health and disease 
  • Calcium signalling in health and disease, including current focus on the role of calcium signalling, mitochondrial function and bioenergetics in pancreatitis and regulated secretion. 
  • Cell cycle control/ regulation  
  • Stem cell biology  
  • Cell biology of inflammation and infection 
  • Systems physiology, including the cancer microenvironment, gastric cell physiology. Also Immune and cancer cell invasion biology 
  • Development of fundamental model systems that can be used for understanding cell responses, damage/stress, cell-cell and cell-matrix communications 
  • Cell receptor dynamics, endosome trafficking and vesicular transport
  • Autophagy and phagocytosis  
  • Smooth muscle cell physiology, with research in reproductive physiology, ureteric microvessels and respiratory tract.

Research themes

Research may cover any aspect of life sciences and biomedicine, including:

  • Cell biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Biophysics
  • Molecular biology and genetics
  • Stem cell research
  • Regenerative medicine
  • Infection and immunology
  • Systems physiology approaches
  • Translational medicine. 

Facilities

The research infrastructure of the Institute of Translational Medicine is designed to give researchers access to world class facilities in the best possible environment.

Our centres, facilities and resources give us the ability to drive biomedical research from patient samples to the laboratory bench and vice versa from newly generated drug compounds into clinical trials. They provide powerful, productive collaborations between experts within the University and organisations worldwide.

  • Biomedical Imaging
  • Centre for Antimicrobial Pharmacodynamics
  • Centre for Drug Safety Science
  • Health Data Science Network
  • Centre for Preclinical Imaging
  • Clinical Trials Research Centre
  • Harris-Wellbeing Preterm Birth Research Centre
  • Liverpool Bio-Innovation Hub (LBIH) Biobank
  • Liverpool Cancer Trials Unit
  • MRC North West Hub for Trials Methodology Research
  • North West Cancer Research Centre – University of Liverpool
  • Pancreas Biomedical Research Unit
  • UK Experimental Arthritis Treatment Centre for Children
  • Wolfson Centre for Personalised Medicine.

Postgraduate researchers also benefit from flexible access to world-class equipment and expertise through the Shared Research Facilities provided by The Technology Directorate.

Research groups

  • Gastroenterology Research Unit
  • Neuronal Signalling Group
  • Regenerative Medicine Network
  • Safety and Efficacy Hub

Study options and fees


MPhil / PhD / MD Duration Home/EU Students International Students
Full time 2-4 years £4,407* (2020) £23,650* ^ (lab based programmes)
£18,000* (non Lab based programmes) (2020).
Part time 4-6 years £2,204* (2020) £11,825* (lab based programmes) £9,000* (non Lab based programmes) (2020)

*This fees excludes potential research support fees also known as ‘bench fees. You will be notified of any fee which may apply in your offer letter.

^Self funded full time international students studying a lab based programme will receive a £2,000 reduction in their fees for the first year only.


Entry requirements

Applications are welcomed from well qualified graduates who would typically hold a UK first degree or equivalent in the first or 2:1 class, or a 2:2 class degree plus a Masters degree, in a relevant subject.

Applicants for postgraduate research study at Liverpool are normally expected to hold a UK first degree with a First Class or Upper Second Class degree classification, or a Second Class degree plus a Master’s degree. Equivalent international qualifications are also accepted, and their equivalence will be evaluated on the basis of the information provided by the National Academic Recognition and Information Centre (NARIC) as well as internal guidance based on our experience of a qualification’s suitability as a preparation for our programmes.

We welcome applications from around the world. You should ensure that your qualifications are equivalent to those required to study for this research degree. See our guidance on international qualifications.

You must also have reached a minimum standard of English and be able to provide evidence of this. See our English language requirements for international students.


How to apply

Research degree applications can be made online.  You'll also need to ensure that you have funding to cover all fees.

Applications are open all year round.

More about applying for research degrees

Apply online

Before you apply, we recommend that you identify a supervisor and develop a research proposal


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Need help finding a supervisor? Contact us

  • ITMPGR Student Team
  • Email: 0151 794 5455
  • Phone: itmpgr@liverpool.ac.uk

Related studentships: self-funded and funded PhD projects


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