The incidence of obesity-related hospital admissions is rising around the world. However, the treatment and recovery of obese patients is complicated, in part because we do not currently know how obesity impacts on clinically relevant processes such as wound healing, tissue regeneration and ulcer risk. We have begun to investigate the impact of obesity and metabolic complications on skin health in preclinical models of obesity and in humans. We have recently demonstrated that obesity is associated with significant dermal remodelling including increased dermal thickness, intradermal adiposity, metabolic inflammation, and altered response to pressure. While this suggests that obesity alters microvascular functionality, its impact on dermal lymphatic structure and function remains unclear. The latter is crucial for immune cell, lipid and bacterial transport and plays equally important roles in determining skin health.
The current PhD project aims to address the gap in knowledge by investigating the impact of excess adipose tissue expansion on dermal lymphatic structure and function in both pre-clinical models and human volunteers. The project will involve a multidisciplinary collaboration between three research groups; two based at University Hospital Southampton and one at the University of Lyon, offering opportunities to gain skills and experience in pre-clinical, clinical and translational research using techniques such as functional dermal imaging (non-invasive infra-red fluorescence imaging), biochemical analysis and metabolic phenotyping.
We seek a candidate with the following qualities:
The successful candidate is likely to have the following qualifications:
The project is fully funded for 4 years by the Institute for Life Sciences (IfLS, University of Southampton) and The Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, University of Lyon. We welcome applicants from students eligible for this funding, which covers fees and a stipend.