Undergraduate summer studentships

Jennifer Rowles Studentships

Tis studentship is internally funded and only open to University of Leeds students.  Candidates will be selected by the academic leading the project, based on their application and CV and may be invited to take part in an informal interview.  The stipend offered to undergraduate students is £180 per week.  Deadline for applications is noon on 28th January 2022.

Important note: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, whilst every effort will be made to offer a lab based project in summer 2022, it may be that an alternative literature project will need to be offered instead.  This will be discussed between the UG and supervisor nearer the time.

Project Leader/Project Docs

Project Details

Dr Ian Wood


Therapeutic potential of HDAC inhibitors for multiple sclerosis. 

Recently, inhibitors of histone deacetylase enzymes (HDACs) have been identified as having potential therapeutic value for a range of neuronal disorders including multiple sclerosis and other neurodegenerative diseases [1, 2]. The HDAC inhibitors have been shown to have neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory properties yet their mechanism of action remains unidentified. We have recently shown that microglia activation by a number of insults (eg LPS, interferon and Amyloid beta) can be reduced by HDAC inhibitors [1]. Using siRNA we have identified HDAC1 and HDAC2 as the important HDAC enzymes for this response [1]. Whilst still don’t know the mechanism by which HDAC inhibitors block microglia activation we have shown that it doesn’t require new protein synthesis so is unlikely to be a result of the well characterised effect of these inhibitors on increasing gene expression.  We are currently investigating the cellular mechanism(s) involved in the inhibition and identifying the molecular targets involved. The approach will involve the use of cell culture methods, functional assays to quantify cell responses such as proliferation as well as molecular approaches to quantify cytokine production and changes in gene and protein expression.  

1. Durham, B.S., R. Grigg, and I.C. Wood, Inhibition of histone deacetylase 1 or 2 reduces induced cytokine expression in microglia through a protein synthesis independent mechanism. J Neurochem, 2017.