Natural Products and Metabolic Processing in Humans

About this project

The natural product pharmacology cluster is comprised of researchers from the School of Mathematics and Physical Sciences (biochemistry and chemistry) and School of Life Sciences (biomedical sciences and sport, health and exercise sciences).  The cluster research focus aims to understand the drug-like properties of natural products (plant chemicals, etc.) in diseases associated with ageing, such as skeletal muscle decline.  Such diseases are difficult to treat (with severely limited therapeutic options), yet result in a substantial health and social care burden.  The cluster has a strong focus on the modulation of reactive oxygen species and mitochondrial function in diseases of ageing, and the production of circulating metabolites of natural products.  Two University of Hull funded PhD studentships investigating these areas are detailed below.

Natural products and metabolic processing in humans 

The loss of skeletal muscle function with ageing results in a progressive increase in frailty and a substantial reduction in quality of life.  There are currently no effective therapies for skeletal muscle decline.  This project will use cell culture models of muscle ageing to screen a range of natural products for bioactive effects upon ageing phenotypes.  Specifically it will focus upon changes in mitochondrial function and reactive oxygen species signalling pathways, processes that have been implicated in the pathogenesis of skeletal muscle decline.  Compounds that demonstrate bioactivities in vitro will also be translated into human subjects.  Within this approach the successful candidate will gain experience of a range of molecular biology and biochemical techniques, in addition to the application of analytical chemistry approaches to biological samples (e.g. LC-MS).  Thus applicants for this project should have understanding or experience of cell culture and cell metabolism and biochemistry. 


You are strongly advised to contact a potential supervisor and to discuss your research proposal, well before you submit an application. Please refer to the Faculty of Science and Engineering research pages.

For further information regarding this project please contact Dr Huw Jones.

Next steps


To celebrate the University's research successes, the University of Hull is offering a full-time UK/EU PhD Scholarship or International Fees Bursary.

Entry requirements

Applicants should have at least a 2.1 undergraduate degree in chemistry, biochemistry, toxicology, or related disciplines for project 1, and medicine, biochemistry, biomedical sciences, molecular cell biology, or related disciplines for project 2, together with relevant research or clinical experience. It is anticipated that the successful applicant will have a 1st class undergraduate degree or a Masters level qualification. 

How to apply

Applications for scholarship consideration at the University of Hull should be made through the Postgraduate Application system.

On the second page of your application, please select “Graduate Scholarship” as the type of scholarship you are applying for. 

Applicants are strongly encouraged to first identify and contact a potential supervisor.

Apply now

Application deadline: Monday 19 February


Full-time UK/EU PhD Scholarships will include fees at the ‘home/EU' student rate and maintenance (£14,553 in 2017/18) for three years, depending on satisfactory progress.

Full-time International Fee PhD Studentships will include full fees at the International student rate for three years, dependent on satisfactory progress.