Obesity and Endocrinology PhD / MPhil / MD

The Institute of Ageing and Chronic Disease researches clinical aspects of obesity and diabetes in humans, with particular reference to control of energy balance and complications of obesity such as diabetes and obstructive sleep apnoea. We work closely with the Department of Diabetes and Endocrinology based at Aintree University Hospital.

Why study with us?

  • 100

    staff creating new insights.

  • £11m

    annual budget.

  • £35m

    bespoke research facility.

Overview

We have over 100 staff creating new insights into bioscience, epidemiology, health issues, patients, lifestyles and care.

The Institute of Ageing and Chronic Disease provides a powerful focus for understanding the many variables - from bioscience to social - that influence ageing and chronic disease in people throughout their lives. The key principle behind our research is the recognition over the last decade that to elucidate cell, organ or organismal function in health and disease requires an integrated approach utilising the best available cutting-edge technologies. Our research activity ranges from molecules to population and from laboratory to bedside.

Techniques include functional neuroimaging of appetite control in endocrine disease in collaboration with LiMRIC, real-time measurement of appetite and studies of liver and muscle metabolism - including euglycaemic clamp studies - in obesity, diabetes and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. The group also conducts clinical trials and has close links with a number of research groups in Africa. In veterinary practice and research, there are parallel interests in obesity and metabolic disease in companion animals, horses and cattle and basic research models of human disease. Pre-clinical research focuses on adipocyte biology, with particular interests in the endocrine products of adipose tissue, and has close links with the clinical groups.

We offer MPhil, PhD, MD and post-doctoral training programmes that provide exposure to the wide-range of disciplines on offer. Many of our students are also recognised for the role they play in communicating the science to the wider community. On completing their PhDs, many of our graduates go on to take competitive post-doctoral positions in the UK or overseas, or elect to take career paths in the NHS, government or the commercial sector.

Delivering this kind of return on investment has helped us to attract solid funding, with partners including Wellcome Trust, UK Research Councils, NIH (USA), Unilever and GSK. With these extensive in-house research facilities and strong UK and global academic partners, we are well-placed to continue our mission and realise our ambitious plans in the ageing and chronic disease field.

Our research interests

We particularly welcome research proposals that match those of our researchers, including:

  • Pathophysiology and treatment of obesity and type 2 diabetes
  • Insulin resistance and insulin signalling
  • Inflammatory adipokines in health and disease
  • The influence of sedentary behaviour on health.

Research groups

  • Clinical Research in Diabetes and Obesity
  • Companion Animal Ageing and Obesity Biology
  • Equine Endocrine Disease and Laminitis.

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.

We welcome applications from within the EU and 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.  Before you apply, we recommend that you identify a supervisor and develop a research proposal.  You'll also need to ensure that you have funding to cover all fees.

Applications are open all year round.

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