£3.75 million award for PhD programme

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The Wellcome Trust has awarded the University of Liverpool £3.75 million to fund a four-year PhD programme in Cellular and Molecular Physiology.

The grant will provide 25 fully-funded PhD studentships over a five-year period from October next year. The application for the renewal was prepared by the founding Director of the programme Professor Bob Burgoyne along with the current Director Professor Alexei Tepikin and Professor Ian Prior who is the Director designate for the next period (from 2014 to 2019).

Exploring physiological functions

The programme, which explores physiological functions and the underlying causes of disease, had its first intake of students in 1994 and was the first four-year PhD programme to be funded by the Wellcome Trust.

The University’s programme is one of only 12 to have been awarded and marks the fifth time the PhD programme has been funded at Liverpool.

Strength of research

Director of the programme and lead applicant, Professor Ian Prior, said: “The fact that this is the fifth successful renewal of this award is a reflection of both the strength of research in physiology at our University and the outstanding track record of graduate student training within the programme.”

To date 93 students have been recruited to the programme, and 72 have graduated.

Founding director of the programme, Professor Bob Burgoyne, added: “The renewal of the programme will help Liverpool stay at the forefront of research training in a field that is crucial to the understanding of normal physiological function, the underlying causes of disease and the development of effective and safe drugs and therapies. Many of our students have gone on to established academic positions or to senior positions in the biomedical, biotechnology or related professions.”

The programme is administered from the Department of Cellular and Molecular Physiology within Translational Medicine, but regularly incorporates research supervisors from across the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences.

The Wellcome Trust is a global charitable foundation dedicated to achieving improvements in human and animal health. It aims to support biomedical research and the medical humanities.

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