Immuno-metabolism and multi-omics analysis of aging and senescence

A three year fully funded University CASE studentship (with a potential fourth year additional funding) is offered in our laboratory in immuno-metabolism and multi-omics analysis. This project is in partnership with Waters and aims to investigate environmental and physiological factors contributing to healthy aging, and potentially those leading to a general decline in the ability of the immune system to mount efficient responses in the face of aging related pathophysiology, such as cancer or infection.

Start date
1 January 2022
3-4 years depending upon progress and funds available from Waters
Application deadline
Funding source
This PhD studentship is sponsored by University of Surrey PhD studentship (50%) matched by 50% from Waters
Funding information

UKRI-aligned stipend (£15,609 pa for 2021-22), approved University of Surrey fees and a research budget.


This specific project partners with Waters and aims to investigate the environmental (external/epigenetic) and physiological factors contributing to healthy aging and potentially those leading to a general decline in the ability of the immune system to mount efficient responses in the face of aging related pathophysiology, such as cancer or infection.

Immune senescence encompasses various events as an individual ages and which ultimately weakens the immune system to fight foreign pathogens or efficiently target tumour cells. This studentship aims at re-exploring the notion of senescence, specifically T cell senescence, using a new approach by analysing the metabolic wiring, multi ‘omic profiling and alterations occurring in T cells, and their triggers as they become senescent.

Using both cellular and primary, clinical samples, you will be able to explore and decipher how T cells are triggered to become senescent; and how these ‘triggers’ alter the metabolic profiles of T cells leading to their senescence.

You will be able to explore the associated altered immune-metabolic pathways using deep single cell analysis with access to single cell analysis, advanced imaging, latest available spectral flow cytometry and multi ‘omic analysis. You will also benefit from state-of-the-art platforms and facilities available at the University of Surrey in the fields of cancer, infection, nutrition, metabolomic analysis and cell phenotype analysis.

The project will be performed and benefits from key international collaborations and my undertaking research time at Waters mass spectrometry HQ in Wilmslow near Manchester, UK.


Related links
School of Biosciences and Medicine

Eligibility criteria

A first or upper second-class honours degree from the UK (or equivalent qualification from international Institutions) in a relevant subject area.

Applications from UK or international students are welcome.

English language requirements

An IELTS Academic of 6.5 or above with 6 in each individual category (or equivalent qualification from other agencies). Full details on country-specific entry requirements can be found on the Biosciences and Medicine PhD page

How to apply

Applications should be submitted via the Biosciences and Medicine PhD page, on the 'Apply' tab. Please clearly state the studentship title and supervisor on your application.

Please note this project has an alternative start date of 1st October 2022. 

We encourage informal enquiries to be sent to Prof Paul Townsend and/or Dr Olivier Cexus.

Application deadline

Contact details

Enquiries about this studentship are encouraged.

Paul A. Townsend
Olivier NF Cexus

This project will be undertaken in the Co-lab formed by the Cell Stress and Apoptosis (Prof Paul A. Townsend) and the Immunometabolism (Dr Olivier NF. Cexus) groups, and as such will benefit from both groups’ expertise.

The project will be undertaken in the Immunology Labs at the Dorothy Hodgkin Building of the Faculty of Health and Medicine Sciences at the University of Surrey. The student will have access to various platforms in flow cytometry, Imaging and single cell sequencing.

The student will also benefit from the strong expertise in multi ‘omic analysis by Mass-spectrometry from Waters, a leading provider of mass-spectrometry solutions and equipment. There will be the opportunity to spend research time at the Waters mass spectrometry HQ at Wilmslow near Manchester.

The project sits in the centre of the general lab vision of understanding the metabolic changes associated with development and progression of various pathologies such as cancer, autoimmunity, susceptibility to viral infections, and ageing.



Studentships at Surrey

We have a wide range of studentship opportunities available.