The Healthspan Project Glasgow
Established in 2020, THP Glasgow operates a number of initiatives at the University of Glasgow to support the fight against age-related disease, including the HRA@Glasgow programme.
HRA@Glasgow 2020 – 2021
Applications will soon open for the 2020 – 2021 Healthspan Research Assistants programme. Please scroll down for further information.
HEALTHSPAN RESEARCH ASSISTANTS, UNIVERSITY OF GLASGOW
Healthspan Research Assistants (HRA) are passionate or curious about research within the field of ageing biology. HRA@Glasgow enables successful applicants to become actively involved in biogerontology-related research at the University of Glasgow.
HRA@GLASGOW 2020 – 2021 Intake
2020 – 2021 HRAs will assist with bioinformatic and/or wet-laboratory research in the laboratories of Dr Adam Dobson and Professor Alberto Sanz, based in the University of Glasgow’s Institute of Molecular, Cell and Systems Biology.
HRAs will have the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of and contribute towards current research concerning mechanisms of organismal ageing and interventions against ageing. They will also gain broad scientific and interpersonal experience as an active member of a research team within the field of biogerontology-related science.
Applications are open to all non-finalist University of Glasgow undergraduates on a life sciences degree programme. Successful HRAs should be prepared to commit up to a maximum of 10 hours per week, and aware that this commitment will take place during term time. Hours are typically spread across multiple weekdays and occasionally weekends, depending on the nature of task/experiment. Please only apply if you are able to make such a commitment. Please note that this is a voluntary position that will not be funded.
Placement start: TBA
Placement end: HRAs are encouraged to benefit from a long-term placement and should plan their own end-date with their supervisor.
Application deadline: TBA
Applications will be reviewed together following the deadline, and NOT on a rolling basis.
Shortlisted applicants will be invited to an informal interview.
2020 – 2021 Host Labs
Dr Adam Dobson
Nutrition affects all aspects of animal form and function, including development, adult health, and the biology of ageing. Consequently, both gut microbes and diet are important factors for lifelong health. Nutrient availability is unlikely to exactly match the consumer's needs, which vary genetically, by life stage, and also amongst distinct tissues. This mismatch of supply and demand means that animals have to "choose" how to use nutrients, and certain processes will be prioritised over others. This prioritisation results in biological tradeoffs, which underlie epidemics of human ill-health, including metabolic disease and diseases of ageing. I am interested in the function and evolution of nutrient signalling and metabolism. The ultimate goal is to promote health throughout the lifecourse by optimising microbiota and diet for individuals' needs. I primarily address these questions using the fruitfly, Drosophila melanogaster, to identify evolutionarily-conserved processes that could be targeted in other animals, including humans.
Dr Adam Dobson
HRAs will help with experiments to study impacts of genetic, dietary, microbial and pharmacological manipulations. These experiments will focus primarily on Drosophila lifespan, development, egg laying, though positive results from these experiments may also lead to additional molecular assays (e.g. gene expression, metabolic status).
Prof Alberto Sanz
Our laboratory investigates how mitochondria contribute to ageing and the onset of age-related diseases. We are particularly keen to understand the role of Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) play in the ageing process. ROS are both essential cellular messengers and oxidants that cause oxidative damage. We aim to understand where, when and how ROS are generated within mitochondria. Besides, we want to identify the downstream targets and physiological actions triggered by site-specific ROS signalling. Our final goal is to develop new therapies to prevent or reverse age-related mitochondrial deterioration and loss of redox signalling in order to extend healthy lifespan.
Prof Alberto Sanz
The project aims to analyse data from the literature (including transcriptomics, metabolomics and proteomics data) to generate new fly (Drosophila melanogaster) models to manipulate mitochondrial function. We are looking for innovative ways to boost mitochondrial activity that can be translated to humans. Using these new fly models, HRAs will assist in generating new reagents and technologies to measure mitochondrial function and study redox signalling in vivo. We will perform lifespan studies to assess whether experimental modification of mitochondrial function alters lifespan. HRAs will be working at the Institute of Molecular, Cell and Systems Biology at the University of Glasgow. S/he will work in close collaboration with bioinformaticians, geneticists and biochemists and will receive training in one or more of the former disciplines.