As life-expectancy improves for people living with cystic fibrosis (pwCF), new challenges in optimally managing an older, co-morbid population are likely to arise. One area of concern is the “time-bomb” of incident cardiovascular disease (CVD) pwCF. People living with CF have high prevalence of some risk factors for cardiovascular disease including diabetes and chronic systemic inflammation. How these risk-factors balance against potential protective factors including low BMI and reduced serum LDL is not known. Our group has conducted preliminary work in large national and multi-national datasets demonstrating significantly higher risk of CVD in cystic fibrosis. To effectively mitigate cardiovascular disease in pwCF, it is important to be able to appropriately risk-stratify such that holistic interventions including lifestyle modifications and/or primary prevention pharmacotherapy can be appropriately targeted. Given little is known regarding the applicability of pre-existing risk scores to pwCF, an understanding of the relationship between CF disease characteristics, traditional cardiovascular risk factors and cardiovascular health in pwCF is needed. This is a self-funded PhD position which would suit a candidate with a background in cardiovascular sciences or physiology. Experience of non-invasive vascular measurements such as pulse-wave velocity and flow-mediated dilatation would be highly desirable. A BSc/MSc/MRes in cardiology, respiratory, or a health-related subject is required. The overall aim of this PhD is to determine cardiovascular risk in people with cystic fibrosis. Specific objectives of the PhD will be finalised according to applicants interests and expertise but will include:
· Working collaboratively with other researchers and clinicians to assist with establishing a prospective study of cardiovascular disease in people with cystic fibrosis.
· Determining cardiovascular risk in cystic fibrosis using a range of biomarkers and non-invasive vascular measurements collected during the study.
· Evaluating pre-existing cardiovascular risk-scores in the CF setting The successful candidate will be involved in the establishment of the ITCH-CF study which will generate data to explore cardiovascular risk in people with CF. The successful candidate will work across University of Liverpool and Liverpool Heart & Chest Hospital and will benefit from working with a multidisciplinary team at the Liverpool Centre for Cardiovascular Science with expertise in clinical practice, risk-prediction and non-invasive vascular assessments. All postgraduate students undertake the PGR Development Programme which aims to enhance their skills for a successful research experience and career. They are required to maintain an online record of their progress and record their personal and professional development throughout their research degree. The Liverpool Centre for Cardiovascular Science holds monthly research group meetings where students are given opportunities to present their research. The Institute of Life Course and Medical Science is fully committed to promoting gender equality in all activities. In recruitment we emphasize the supportive nature of the working environment and the flexible family support that the University provides. The Institute holds a silver Athena SWAN award in recognition of on-going commitment to ensuring that the Athena SWAN principles are embedded in its activities and strategic initiatives. The Institute of Life Course and Medical Science is fully committed to promoting gender equality in all activities. In recruitment we emphasize the supportive nature of the working environment and the flexible family support that the University provides. The Institute holds a silver Athena SWAN award in recognition of on-going commitment to ensuring that the Athena SWAN principles are embedded in its activities and strategic initiatives.
Informal enquiries regarding this project should be made to Dr Freddy Frost.
All general enquiries should be directed to Mrs Eleanor Toole.
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