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PhD project: Role of GPCR autoantibodies in auto-immune hepatitis

Short read:

The project is focused on identification of autoantibodies against a panel of inflammation related GPCRs in patient samples and evaluation of specific therapeutic interventions counteraction their action. The student will be embedded in the Centre of Membrane Proteins and Receptors, one of internationally leading centres for GPCR research and a vibrant community of over 50 PhD students and postdocs.


For more information, please see

https://more.bham.ac.uk/mrc-aim/phd-opportunities/

or contact Prof. Dmitry Veprintsev directly.

Applications open shortly, deadline expected early January23.


Long read:

Auto-immune hepatitis is a rare liver disease leading to damage of liver tissue, cirrhosis and an eventual need for liver transplant. It is caused by the immune system attacking liver tissue, and autoimmunity mediated inflammation plays a significant role in the development of the disease. However, the exact mechanism of how autoimmunity leads to liver damage is unclear. The project will examine the hypothesis that cell surface membrane proteins involved in inflammatory responses in the liver are targeted by autoantibodies and directly contribute to the disease development. We will use state of the art molecular biology and pharmacology assays developed in the Veprintsev lab (Nottingham) to detect autoantibody binding and signalling for a panel of receptors in patient samples available in the clinical partner Oo lab (Birmingham). We will then use machine learning (Styles) to correlate the presence and activity of autoantibodies with the disease characteristics and severity, as well as patient characteristics. This will allow to confirm the role of autoantibodies in the disease and to create an early diagnostic blood test that would benefit patients. Moreover, the research would lead the way to personalised therapeutic interventions using repurposed drugs counteracting the effects of the autoantibodies.

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