Obesity affects 1 in 4 people and associated with suffering for the individual and high costs to the healthcare system and society. Yet, it remains one of the least researched fields of medicine, with numerous unanswered questions. Three of these questions are:
(i) what are the biological causes of obesity
(ii) how do treatments work
(iii) which patient characteristics predict response to a specific treatment.
Through an international collaboration with University College Dublin, University of Santiago, University of Zurich and a major European IMI funded grant on personalised medicine in obesity, we have collected a wealth of clinical and biochemical data. Patient samples have already been collected from patients with obesity and patients having treatments including medication and bariatric surgery. The samples have been analysed in the laboratory for metabolic markers that can now be analysed with advanced statistical methods to make them meaningful,
This large dataset will provide some key answers to all 3 questions in order to improve our understanding of the causes of obesity, mechanisms of action of intervention and choose the right treatment for the right patient.
The student will be supervised by academic doctors in the field of obesity, and expert scientists in large data statistical analyses. Upon completion the student would have acquired advanced skills in these complex scientific methodologies, presented their findings in international meetings and published them in prestigious journals. This experience will increase the chances of further post-doctoral funding and academic independence.