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PhD in muscle-tendon function and stair biomechanics (Liverpool, UK)

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  • PhD in muscle-tendon function and stair biomechanics (Liverpool, UK)

    PhD studentship

    Interactions of Muscle-Tendon Mechanics during Stair Climbing, and Efficacy of Collagen Supplementation for Functional Improvement

    Supervisory team: Dr Thomas O‘Brien, Prof Costis Maganaris and Prof Graeme Close

    This industry-sponsored PhD studentship with the Research to Improve Stair Climbing Safety (RISCS) group at Liverpool John Moores University is funded by Minerva Research Labs and provides three years of support to cover tuition fees, an annual stipend of £13,726 and experimental costs.

    Deterioration in the structure and function of muscle and tendon can impact on whole body performance during challenging tasks. For older people, tasks of daily living such as stair climbing can become challenging and hazardous but remain vital for independence; ~20% of those aged >65 years fall on stairs each year, and falls costs the NHS ~£4.6M per day. However, we do not fully understand the mechanisms by which deteriorations in muscle-tendon function lead to an increased falls risk on stairs in old age. Moreover, it is essential to develop effective interventions that are widely administrable and acceptable to improve stair climbing ability and safety. Exercise can improve muscle and tendon function in the elderly, but uptake and adherence is poor. Dietary interventions may offer a more acceptable alternative, and collagen supplementation appears to be a promising option.

    The purposes of this PhD project are to (1) establish the influences of muscle and tendon mechanics on stair climbing performance, and (2) determine the efficacy of collagen supplementation to improve muscle and tendon properties and physical function, including stair climbing, in the elderly. To do this we will utilise dynamometry, ultrasound imaging, electromyography, motion analysis and our unique instrumented staircase within cross-sectional and intervention studies.

    The Research Institute for Sport and Exercise Sciences at Liverpool John Moores University, is recognised as an internationally outstanding research centre, being the highest rated Sport Science department in the UK and 6th in the world. Our multi-disciplinary research group brings together biomechanists and nutritionists from Liverpool John Moores University and the commercial partners Minerva Research Labs in this exciting opportunity.

    Entry requirements
    We are seeking excellent candidates who have a Master’s degree in human movement or health and exercise sciences, or other bio-engineering related disciplines. Expertise in biomechanics is essential and an understanding of nutrition science is advantageous. Experience with ultrasound imaging and motion analysis will be favoured. It is essential that candidates have the personal skills to recruit and maintain engagement with older participants in the community.

    This post is only available to EU students.

    Informal enquiries are welcome. Applicants should email a CV, covering letter detailing their suitability for the project and contact details of two referees to Dr Thomas O’Brien:, t: 0151 904 6259

    The closing date for applications is 5th June 2017

    Relevant websites

    LJMU Biomechanics group: