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Developing novel single-cell sequencing methods for identification of immunotoxic B lymphocytes

   Medical Research Council Toxicology Unit

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  Dr J Thaventhiran  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

Applications are invited for a 4 year PhD studentship, within the laboratory of Dr Thaventhiran at the MRC Toxicology Unit, University of Cambridge. The studentship is funded by the MRC Integrative Toxicology Training Partnership (ITTP) to commence October 2023.

 Project Outline

In this Ph.D the student will develop novel methods for immune repertoire sequencing of B lymphocyte populations and benchmark this against existing 10x genomic methods. They will do this in terms of both murine and human B cell populations and apply this to samples collected from patients or from preclinical models of toxicity. The project is conducted in collaboration with the Centre for Drug Safety Science, University of Liverpool.

This studentship is for 4 years and is fully funded by the MRC Integrative Toxicology Training Partnership (ITTP). The studentship is based at the MRC Toxicology Unit in Cambridge.

The Medical Research Council (MRC) Toxicology Unit is a leading International Research Institute within the School of Biological Sciences, University of Cambridge. The Unit delivers mechanistic toxicology research, pursuing hypothesis-driven toxicological questions with a particular focus on the study of the causal links between exposure to endogenous and exogenous toxicants, molecular initiating events and adverse outcome pathways. The Unit's overall aims are to carry out pioneering research which leads to improved health and to train and mentor the next generation of toxicologists.

The Unit provides a supportive learning environment designed to meet the scientific and transferable skills required for an internationally competitive career. Our PhD Programme aims to train the scientific leaders of the future, giving them rewarding research projects with access to world-class facilities and expertise. Students receive toxicology-specific training in the Unit and through the ITTP | MRC Toxicology Unit (

Application Process

Applicants should have or shortly expect to obtain a first or good upper second-class degree from a UK university, or an equivalent standard from an overseas university, in a relevant subject area. Hands on experience is required in the generation of single cell sequencing libraries and of bulk RNA sequencing methodologies for immune repertoire analysis. Strong analytical skills, in addition to creativity, curiosity, enthusiasm, and the ability to work in a team are also essential.

 You are strongly recommended to contact the project supervisor prior to submitting your formal application to find out more about the project and eligibility: Dr James Thaventhiran

 Information regarding the application process can be found at: PhD Programme | MRC Toxicology Unit (

 All formal applications will need to be made through the University Application Portal: PhD in Biological Science (MRC Toxicology Unit) | Postgraduate Admissions (

Your online application must include:

• A CV, including full details of all University course grades to date -

• Contact details for two academic or professional referees

• A personal statement of interest

Closing date: Friday 31st March 2023 or once a suitable candidate is found. Early applications are recommended.

Funding Notes

Full funding covering Maintenance and the University Composition Fee (Home Fee rate) and is provided for the studentship, with effect from 1 October 2023.
Maintenance fee is currently £19,250.
This studentship is open to UK citizens or overseas students who meet the UK residency requirements (home fees) or are able to augment the funds to cover the extra costs associated with international student fees. Full details of the University's entrance requirements are specified here: View Website.
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