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British Heart Foundation Centre of Research Excellence 3-year Interdisciplinary PhD Studentship

To start
June 2021
(There is the possibility to extend the start date till October 2021)


2 x PhD studentships available within the BHF Centre of Research Excellence.


Department of Physics within Faculty of Natural & Mathematical Sciences (Project 1)

Cardiovascular Medicine & Sciences (Project 2)

King’s College London British Heart Foundation (BHF) Centre of Research Excellence


Studentships cover tuition fees at the Home/EU rate plus offer a stipend at BHF rates (currently starting at £22,278 pa) for all three years. Exceptional candidates who qualify as International Students will be considered, if in possession of documented support to cover the tuition fee differential (currently ca £18,000 pa).

About the centre

The King’s College London British Heart Foundation (BHF) Centre of Research Excellence offers an outstanding environment for cardiovascular research training.  It includes many internationally rated investigators whose expertise encompasses a broad range of cardiac and vascular biomedicine. The Centre of Research Excellence complements the School of Cardiovascular Medicine & Sciences at King’s, which ranked very well in the REF2014 submission for Clinical Medicine (UoA 1) - 1st in terms of the proportion of outputs rated at 4* or 3*.

Project summary
Call for Applications for 2 x PhD studentships with King’s College London commencing June 2021:

  1. Professor Sergi Garcia-Manyes Integrative cardiovascular mechanobiology (with a focus on work across scales)’ The main focus of this PhD project is to get the first molecular insight on how transient chemical reactivity, particularly that emerging from oxidative stress, regulates the elasticity of cardiac titin. We will use a combination of state-of-the-art nanomechanical techniques across different force- and length-scales, spanning from the single molecule to the multicellular level, to build up an integrated structural-mechanochemical-functional approach able to elucidate the mechanisms by which well-defined post-translational modifications function as key sensors of oxidative stress, with crucial knock-on effects on the mechanical contractility of cardiac titin. This project sits within the Department of Physics in the School of Natural & Mathematical Sciences. 

  2. Dr Anna ZampetakiAn experimental model of human diabetic vasculopathy to identify novel therapeutic targets’ Human blood vessel organoids derived from induced Pluripotent Stem (iPS) cells have recently emerged as an attractive model of microangiopathy. Grown in a Petri dish, these 3D tissue units display a striking structural similarity and function to human microvasculature. Patient-derived organoids can serve as an experimental system to initiate drug and small compound screening in a personalized manner. Additionally, CRISPR/Cas9 is a highly specific RNA-guided gene editing platform that can be employed to generate mutant iPS and mutant human blood vessel organoids. This project will focus on generating patient derived human blood vessel organoids to interrogate endothelial cell and pericyte interactions and dissect mechanisms of diabetic vasculopathy with a specific focus on intermediary metabolism. This project sits within the School of Cardiovascular Medicine & Sciences. 

Entry requirements
Applicants must possess, or be expected to achieve, a 1st or good upper 2nd class degree (or equivalent) in a relevant subject.  A 2:2 degree may be considered only where applicants also offer a Master’s degree with Merit or above. 

How to apply
Please visit the King’s Apply website and follow the steps outlined below:

a) Register a new account and login.

b) Open a new application.

c) Select the correct programme: 

For Professor Sergi Garcia-Manyes and Dr Elisabetta Brunello’s project:

  • Select ‘Physics Research MPhil/PhD (Full-time)’
  • In the ‘Research proposal section’ of the application please list: ‘Biological Physics and Soft Matter’

For Dr Anna Zampetaki and Prof Ajay Shah’s project:

  • Select: ‘Cardiovascular Medicine and Science Research MPhil/PhD (Full-time)’ 

d) Complete and submit your application noting the following:

  • Include a supporting personal statement
  • 2 References 
  • CV
  • Funding – select drop-down ‘4. Grant Awarding Body’.  For the award status, select 'Advertised Scholarship' and in the box marked ‘Ref No.:’, please enter: ‘BHF3YR21’.


Contact information for enquiries
Please contact the relevant supervisors or the BHF Centre manager Silvia Pedroni ( if you have questions about the research projects.

For further information please visit our website.

Closing date
17 January 2021

Interviews are expected to be held in February. 

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