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Wolfson Centre for Age-Related Diseases Phd

Key information

Qualification type

PhD/DPhil - Doctor of Philosophy

Subject areas

Geriatric Nursing Geriatric Medical Studies

Course type


Course Summary


The Wolfson Centre for Age-Related Diseases (WCARD) is part of the Division of Neuroscience within the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience (IoPPN). Research in the WCARD focuses on the maintenance of a healthy nervous system during aging, by understanding how its activity changes during damage to nerves and the surrounding tissues, and investigating new techniques to repair damaged neurons. Our long-term goal is to improve the quality of life of patients affected by age-related diseases of the nervous system. Our research is geared towards i) understanding molecular mechanisms that drive disease conditions and ii) harness our scientific knowledge to develop new therapeutic strategies to restore normal sensory function and to better repair injury.

Currently, our 3 major research themes are:

1). Chronic Pain: Delineating new pathways and mechanisms of pain to allow us to identify innovative targets in neurons and non-neuronal cell.

2). Regeneration: Aiming to restore function after nerve injury by developing regenerative therapies that target the ongoing inflammation and glial scar to facilitate endogenous repair mechanisms.

3). Hearing: Studying the genetics of age-related hearing loss in humans and mice to understand the pathological mechanisms that drive this process.

Researchers in all 3 themes are actively seeking PhD students to join their projects.

We specialise in using electrophysiology and imaging techniques (e.g. patch-clamp; fMRI/microPET; genetic indicators of neuronal activity; in situ hybridization) with sequencing and bioinformatics (e.g. RNAseq, microarray, machine learning) on translational models of human disease (e.g. neuropathic pain, stroke, spinal cord injury, Multiple Sclerosis, Dementia, Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, arthritis, fibromyalgia) to better understand disease processes. The results of these studies then inform a drug discovery process to develop innovative therapeutics.


Over the last two decades, there have been tremendous advances in our understanding of the molecules and principles that govern the functioning of the nervous system. Great progress has been made to understand the molecular basis of disease states and pain, and the molecular mechanisms that limit regeneration. These advances enable innovative neuroscience and the opportunity to translate new knowledge into clinical benefits.

Our mission is to:

Further understand the causes of neuropathic disease, identify new drug targets, develop treatments and monitor outcomes;
Study synaptic receptors and neuronal signalling mechanisms to promote symptomatic relief from the pain and dysfunction associated with a damaged nervous system;
Develop and test strategies aimed at restoring function to the damaged nervous system by promoting cell survival and forming new synaptic connections or neurons.

Our PhD students are an essential part of our research work, but every project and every studentship is different.

Different course options

Full time | Guy's Campus | 4 years | OCT

Study mode

Full time


4 years

Start date


Tuition fees

UK fees
Course fees for UK / EU students

For this course (per year)


Average for all Postgrad courses (per year)


International fees
Course fees for non-UK / EU students

For this course (per year)


Average for all Postgrad courses (per year)


Entry requirements

Bachelor's degree with 2:1 honours in science, medicine or dentistry. A 2:2 degree may be considered if the applicant also has a Master's degree with a merit or distinction. Relevant experience may also be acceptable.