Research course

Neurology - Clinical Neurology

Institution
University of Nottingham · Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Qualifications
PhD

Entry requirements

Please contact the school for further information.

Months of entry

September

Course content

The Division of Clinical Neurology's main interest is multiple sclerosis (MS). We investigated paradoxically shared signalling pathways for interferon type 1 (IFN), an MS treatment, and interleukin-12 (IL-12), a proinflammatory cytokine detrimental in MS. We showed that different factors modulate the pathway differently when activated by IFN and IL-12, and that MS patients have an intrinsic IFN signalling deficit. We showed that astrocytes can express and produce most elements of the IL-12 family of cytokines.

We have shown induction of regulatory T (Treg) cells that protect against autoimmunity, by steroids, and induction of the main transcription factor for Treg cells, foxp3, by steroids and IFN. We investigate how IL-12 suppresses signalling pathways essential for Treg function.

We also investigate the role of T cells producing IL-17 (Th17) cells in MS. We have identified a Th17 marker.

Another line of investigation relates to the role of the innate immune system (comprising dendritic cells and other antigen presenting cells) in regulating inflammatory demyelination in the central nervous system (CNS). Specifically we are focusing on the role of Toll-like receptors (TLRs) in modulating the function of Tregs and other classes of immune cells in MS and its animal model, experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). Studies in EAE will be essential for preclinical testing of new treatments for MS and to address mechanisms of CNS inflammation, demyelination, and neuronal damage in vivo.

On the imaging side, we have applied advanced MRI (diffusion tensor imaging, magnetisation transfer imaging, T1 mapping) to quantifying MS pathology. We developed an accurate method of measuring spinal cord area.

For a more extensive overview, please visit the course page on the University of Nottingham's online prospectus.

Fees and funding

The Graduate School at The University of Nottingham provides information on internal and external sources of postgraduate funding.

There is also funding information on the Medical School web pages.

For information on funding opportunities for international students, please see the International Office website.

Qualification and course duration

PhD

full time
36-48 months

Course contact details

Name
Professor Cris Constantinescu
Email
cris.constantinescu@nottingham.ac.uk
Phone
+44 (0)115 823 1000