PhD News

PhD Student Paper Accepted for Publication 


Self-funded PhD student from the School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, Dishant Sharma has had his PhD project included in a research paper accepted for publication in the influential journal 'Gene Therapy'.


The paper is titled as 'Co-delivery of Indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase prevents loss of expression of an antigenic transgene in dystrophic mouse muscles' and other authors included Rasha al-Khalidi, Suzanne Edgar, Qian An, Yao Wang, Christopher Young, Dominika Nowis, and Dariusz Gorecki.


Dishant describes his PhD project below:


"The PhD project is titled 'Development of tolerogenic Vector for gene therapy of Duchenne muscular dystrophy'. It is in the gene therapy of Duchenne muscular dystrophy, which is a genetic disease due to loss of dystrophin. Currently, most studies showed the use of immunosuppressive drugs for the long-term expression of gene therapy product as these are recognised as foreign by the body of the recipient. We injected IDO1 mixed with antigen in dystrophic mice muscle to analyse the effect of IDO1 on the expression profile of antigen. This pilot study showed that IDO1 increases the expression of antigen in 68% muscles compared to control by inducing the tolerance against the antigen.


"We proposed IDO1 could use in place of immune suppressive drugs for sustained expression of antigen. We want this study to be replicated with a larger pool of subjects to make it a suitable candidate for clinical trials in humans.


"I applied to many fully funded PhD programs in India, Germany, Singapore, Taiwan, China, Ireland and UK. However, did not get acceptance as my background did not match with program requirements. So a self-funded PhD was my last option to do a quality PhD that directly contributes to patient care. I felt lucky to be in UOP as academic staff helped a great deal, whenever I had problems, I found someone to talk to resolve them. The University has good student support i.e. the Well- being Centre and International office. Colleagues and housemates were very friendly and cooperating. The city is relatively economical and less crowded, compared to other big cities in the UK i.e. London. I am happy with the overall experience of PhD and strongly recommend UoP to future PhD students. I also suggest having collaborative projects with research centres from India, so that more and more Indian students can explore UoP research facilities to do quality research and publish in high-ranking journals to let increase the world university ranking of UoP for research."


PhD Viva a Success for SHSSW Student


Congratulations to SHSSW PhD student, Aditya Singh, who recently successfully underwent his PhD Viva.


Aditya's research programme is entitled:


'Availability and inequality in the distribution of health workers in public health system in rural India'


Aditya's supervisors are Dr Sasee Pallikadavath, Professor Tara Dean and Dr Tamsin Badley.


His examiners were Professor Sabu Padmadas, University of Southampton and Professor Liz Twigg, University of Portsmouth.


Congratulations to Marina Harris from Dental Academy


Congratulations to Marina Harris, a dental hygienist by profession and current PhD student at the University of Portsmouth as well as former DA staff member, is now on the Proctor & Gamble Global Dental Hygienist Advisory Board. 


PhD news from within the Psychology department

  • Eglantine Julle-Daniere has been awarded a PsyPAG International Conference Bursary of £200 to cover her conference attendance at the Consortium of European Research on Emotion (CERE 2016) in Leiden, the Netherlands.
  • Serra Tekin successfully defended her thesis on ‘Eliciting Admissions from Suspects in Criminal Investigations’ with no required changes. Congratulations to Serra and her supervisory team Aldert Vrij, Samantha Mann, and Sharon Leal.
  • Liam Satchell successfully defended his thesis on ‘Factors Affecting the Accurate Detection of Trait Aggression from Gait’. Congratulations to Liam and his supervisory team Paul Morris, Lucy Akehurst and Claire Nee.

Four PhD bursaries have also been awarded within the department, commencing from October 2017:


Helene Chotard will be extending her existing work (as an RA) with Marina Davila-Ross. As a PhD student she will be strengthening an already highly productive research team. She has a Masters in Human and Animal Psychology (Paris) and four publications in top journals, one under revision for Royal Society Open Science, and one in preparation. The proposed project focuses on individual differences in non-human primates. This has implications for animal conservation and the reintroduction of animals into the wild, and thus fits squarely into the Sustainability and Environment theme.


Amy Warbrick has already been working with her supervisor, Claire Nee. She will be extending their work on acquisitive offenders in prisons. Although these are the most prevalent category of offenders (80%), this category of prisoners has been neglected. However, the National Offenders Management Service has set up a new initiative, and it is strongly supporting the existing work of Amy and Claire that will be taken further in the PhD. Amy’s proposal sits centrally within the new Security and Risk theme, is inter-disciplinary (has a criminologist from VU Amsterdam on the supervisory team) and also strengthens our inter-disciplinary ties with this institution for future research bids. Amy has a Masters in Forensic Psychology (Portsmouth), three publications, and several conference presentations.


Rebecca Spooner is currently registered as a MRes student with Juliane Kaminski. Her PhD will extend the research conducted here on dog behaviour led by Juliane, who had already established an international reputation in this field before she joined us. Her research – which will focus on the relation between wolfpacks on the basis of their calls (i.e., can they detect the structure of other wolfpacks simply on the basis of their vocalisations?) also fits neatly into the Sustainability and Environment theme. The research will, in part, be based at the Dog Cognition Centre at Eastney. By the time she starts her PhD, she will have a Master and has two publications in preparation.


Laura Higgs is joining us from the University of Bristol to work with Bridget Waller, Juliane Kaminski and Jerome Micheletta for her PhD. Her PhD will compliment the Leverhulme Trust funded project on human guilt, by exploring the social function and expression of guilt in animals (dogs and primates). The research will, in part, be based at the Dog Cognition Centre at Eastney.


Geography Thesis Success


We would like to say huge congratulations to Dr Taye Famuditi who successfully defended his thesis this summer.  The thesis, entitled ‘Developing Local Community Participation in Shoreline Management in England: the Role of Coastal Action Groups‘ was examined by  Dr Steve Fletcher (UNEP-WCMC / University of Plymouth) and internal examiner, Dr Rob Inkpen. Taye was supervised by Jonathan Potts, Malcolm Bray and Julia Brown.

PhD Viva Success for DSES Staff Member


Congratulations to DSES PhD student and staff member, Kieren McEwan, who recently successfully underwent his PhD Viva.


Kieren's research programme is entitled:


 'An Analysis of Pluralised Markets, Identities and Participant Trait Characteristics in Mountain Biking'


Kieren's supervisors are Dr Neil Weston, Professor Barry Smart and Dr Paul Gorczynski


His examiners were Dr Jamie Barker, Staffordshire University, Dr Katherine King, University of Bournemouth and Dr Tom Webb, University of Portsmouth.

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