Determination of the Origins of Endometriosis and Identification of Novel Targets for Therapy

About this project

There is a worldwide need to identify biomarkers that are specific and enable the diagnosis of chronic disease at an earlier time point. In doing so we can treat patients before their disease affects multiple organs, enabling more effective treatment, extending patient survival and enhancing quality of life. We aim to develop non-invasive or minimally invasive tests to identify early pre-clinical disease changes in patients. This should improve patient outcomes with diminished side effects and decrease NHS treatment costs.

This cluster encompasses academic staff, based in both the School of Life Sciences and the School of Mathematics and Physical Sciences at the University of Hull, who are experienced in biomarker identification in difficult to treat diseases such as endometriosis (Guinn), therapy-induced cancer (Wade), cardiovascular disease (Beltran-Alvarez) and sarcoidosis (Hart).  Our skills in state-of-the-art technologies such as lab-on-a-chip (Pamme) and spheroids (Pires), and our access to high tech equipment (mass spectrometry, phosphor-flow cytometry, transcriptomics) provide a unique opportunity to collaborate and form a UK cluster of excellence providing high quality training and mentorship to our PGR students.

Determination of the origins of endometriosis and identification of novel targets for therapy with Dr Barbara Guinn and Dr Isabel Pires.

Endometriosis is a common condition that affects 1:10 women, and can cause pathologies in local and distant organs. Despite its commonality, the biological causes of this disease remain unclear. Symptoms can be severe and complications include infertility. The only current true diagnostic strategy, as well as the most effective treatment, is invasive laparoscopic surgery. Importantly, no specific clinical biomarkers for this disease exist. You will join a small but friendly lab team who are established in the field of biomarker identification and characterisation. The techniques you will use will include SEREX and 2D gel electrophoresis to help identify the proteins that are unique to endometriosis. In doing so we hope to determine the source of the cells that cause endometriosis and provide novel therapies for their destruction.


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 Health research pages.

If you have any queries, please email Dr Barbara Guinn or Dr Isabel Pires.

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 biomedicine or a related discipline, together with relevant research experience. It is anticipated that the successful applicant will have a 1st class undergraduate degree or 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.