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  Development of AI framework for iPSC image analysis and integration with transcriptomics


   Digital Environment Research Institute

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  Prof Viji Draviam  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

A fully funded PhD Studentship is available to work with Professor Viji Draviam, Professor of Quantitative Cell and Molecular Biology and Director of Industrial Innovation, School of Biological and Behavioural Science, Queen Mary University London, and Dr Victor Neduva, Senior Director, Genome and Biomarker Sciences, MSD.

Awards will cover UK tuition fees, stipend at UKRI rate (currently £19,668), and a consumable allowance for 4 years (pro-rata for part-time applicants).

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling-basis up until the deadline of October 31st 2023. The studentship may be be awarded prior to the October deadline and those interested in applying are encouraged to submit their application as soon as it's read

Project Description:

The Draviam lab aims to understand the molecular principles that govern cell division and the consequence of its failure when cells transition between states during differentiation. Together with MSD, the project aims to focus on developing AI methods to track iPSC (induced Pluripotent Stem Cells) differentiation to neural precursors, astrocytes and neurons. During the process of differentiation, quiescence and senescence are two cell dormancy states with distinct cell fates and transcriptomic statuses. However, these two states of dormancy have similar nuclear shape and size presentation (in images) which we aim to separate by developing a DL-based image analysis framework that tracks their behaviour through time. The ideal candidate is expected to have a strong background in image analysis, development of ML/DL methods, a keen interest in biosciences and provable experience in teamwork.

This project is part of the UKRI/BBSRC AI for Drug Discovery Progamme, and successful candidates will join a cohort of students working on complementary projects in the AI for Drug Discovery space.

Eligibility and applying 

We are looking for highly motivated individuals​ ​who are passionate about contributing to new discoveries in drug discovery bioscience through the application of the latest techniques in AI and data science. Ideal candidates will have a grounding in both a natural science and data science, e.g. through a ​Master's​ degree in a subject such as bioinformatics or computational chemistry. ​Alternatively,​ you may have, for example, a first​-class ​degree in computer science followed by biochemistry experience, or vice versa. You will be confident in performing data wrangling and analysis in a language such as Python, R or C++. ​Effective communication​ skills are essential. 

Candidates must meet the UKRI requirements to be eligible for the award. Typically this means candidates have unrestricted access on how long they can remain in the UK (i.e. are a British National, have settled, or pre-settled status, have indefinite leave to remain etc.) and have been living in the UK for the 3 years immediately prior to studentship starting. This award is unfortunately not available to students who would be classed as international.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling-basis up until the deadline of October 31st 2023. The studentship may be be awarded prior to the October deadline and those interested in applying are encouraged to submit their application as soon as it's ready.

The projects start by December 2023. For more details, including eligibility and how to apply, see https://www.qmul.ac.uk/deri/ukri-aidd-doctoral-training-programme/


Biological Sciences (4) Computer Science (8)

Funding Notes

The Studentship will cover UK tuition fees only and is open to candidates who meet the UKRI eligibility criteria. This typically means the candidate will have unrestricted access on how long they can remain in the UK (i.e. are a British National, have settled, or pre-settled status, have indefinite leave to remain etc.) and have been living in the UK for the 3 years immediately prior to studentship starting. Candidates who would be classed as International are unfortunately not eligible for this opportunity. https://www.ukri.org/what-we-offer/developing-people-and-skills/esrc/funding-for-postgraduate-training-and-development/eligibility-for-studentship-funding/