Photograph of our current SPRINT MND/MS PhD students

Our current SPRINT MND/MS PhD students

Photograph of patient examination

Projects include clinical/psychology, nursing, and social science...

Photograph of researcher using a microscope

.......as well as laboratory-based projects

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Scottish PhDs in motor neurone disease & multiple sclerosis research

Please note: the complete cohort of 12 students has been recruited, and this programme will not be accepting any more applications.

The SPRINT-MND/MS (Scottish PhD Research & Innovation Network Traineeships in MND/MS) programme is a network of PhD studentships across Scotland, to promote research into all aspects of motor neurone disease and multiple sclerosis.  The programme is funded by the Scottish Government in partnership with five Universities (Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow and St Andrews), and reflects a growing commitment to research into these neurodegenerative diseases that are a major public health threat as well as often being devastating to families. These studentships boost and cement the flagship existing cross-disciplinary research networks that exist in Scotland for these two conditions and, ultimately, make a difference to patients’ lives.

2019 Entry Studentships Awarded

Bobby Beaumont is working on the project Quantitative interactomics to identify cellular pathways affected in Spinal Muscular Atrophy, with Dr Judith Sleeman at the University of St Andrews.

Gina Gnanasampanthan is working on the project Investigating the pathophysiology in Motor Neuron Disease (MND/ALS) using rodent and human iPSC-based models, with Professor Gareth Miles at the University of St Andrews.

Debbie Gray is working on the project Cognitive impairment, decision making and mental capacity in Motor Neurone Disease, with Professor Sharon Abrahams at the University of Edinburgh

James Gray is working on the project Ghrelin-based therapies for ALS – understanding mechanisms of action, with Dr Gayle Doherty, at the University of St Andrews

Rebecca Smith is working on the project Heparin mimetics as a novel therapeutic for CNS repair, with Prof Sue Barnett at the University of Glasgow

2018 Entry Studentships Awarded

Calum Bonthron has completed his PhD on the project Studying synaptic dysfunction in Motor Neuron Disease (MND/ALS) using rodent and human iPSC-based models with Dr Gareth Miles at St Andrews University.

Azita Kouchmeshky has completed her PhD: Retinoic acid receptors as new targets for neuromuscular disease with Prof Peter McCaffery at the University of Aberdeen

Robert Shaw is working on the project Imaging myelination/remyelination processes with Positron Emission Tomography (PET) and a selective sphingosine-1-phosphate-5 (S1P5) radiotracer with Dr Adriana Tavares at the University of Edinburgh

Owen Kantelberg is working on the project Single-molecule detection of the cytotoxic species in MND with Dr Mathew Horrocks at the University of Edinburgh

2017 Entry Studentships Awarded

The following students joined the SPRINT-MND/MS programme in September 2017. All have now completed their PhDs and obtained postdoctoral research positions.

Colin Crawford:  Virally-induced perturbation of the oligodendroglial-axonal unit as an approach to understand the pathogenesis of axonal injury in MND and MS with Dr Julia  Edgar and Prof Mike Ferguson at the University of Glasgow

Gabrielle King:  How do science and society shape each other? An analysis of the choreography and consequences of engagements between research and advocacy in the case of MND with Dr Martyn Pickersgill, Prof Cathy Abbott & Prof Sarah Cunningham-Burley at the University of Edinburgh

Veronica Pravata: Targeting O-GlcNAcylation in motor neurone disease with Prof Daan van Aalten, Prof Peter Brophy at the University of Dundee

Elizabeth York:  Magnetisation transfer imaging biomarkers of demyelination and remyelination in MS with Prof Adam Waldman and Dr Peter Connick at the University of Edinburgh