View All Vacancies

PhD studentship: Impact of obesity on human and murine dermal lymphatics

Human Development and Health

Location:  Southampton General Hospital
Closing Date:  Friday 09 August 2019
Reference:  1146719AF

Lead Institute / Faculty: Human Development and Health, Faculty of Medicine

Main Supervisor: Dr Jaswinder K. Sethi

Other members of the supervisory team: Dr Peter Worsley, Dr Dominique Sigaudo-Roussel 

Duration of the award: 48 months, full time.

Project description: 

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.

Please contact:Dr Jaswinder K. Sethi (

Person Specification: See below.

We seek a candidate with the following qualities:

  • A strong enthusiasm for elucidating molecular mechanisms of disease.
  • A confident, proactive attitude enabling them to work collaboratively across multiple interfaces (Clinical and pre-clinical research, molecular biology, immunology, physiology, tissue imaging and bioengineering).
  • A good team worker and communicator.
  • An organised thinker, able to drive diverse project aspects including large data sets and manage time efficiently.

The successful candidate is likely to have the following qualifications:

  • A 1stor 2:1 degree in a relevant discipline (e.g. molecular cell biology, biochemistry, immunology, physiology, bioengineering, clinical sciences)

Funding information: 

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.

Administrative contact and how to apply:

Please complete the University's online application form, which you can find at

You should enter Dr Jaswinder K. Sethi as your proposed supervisor. To support your application, provide an academic CV (including contact details of two referees), official academic transcripts and a personal statement (outlining your suitability for the studentship, what you hope to achieve from the PhD and your research experience to date).

Informal enquiries relating to the project or candidate suitability should be directed to Dr Jaswinder K. Sethi (

Closing date: 9th August 2019

Email details to a friend
Further details:
Login to your account


Forgotten your password?

Register for an account

Mindful Employer Disability Confident Leader HR Excellence In Research Stonewall Diversity Champion Athena Swan Silver Award - University of Southampton Committed to being an Inclusive Employer