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Early Stage Researcher: Data Mining of LDD Phenotypes


Twin Research & Genetic Epidemiology Department

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Prof F Williams No more applications being accepted

About the Project

Reference: 007944

The Department of Twin Research and Genetic Epidemiology (DTR) at King’s College London is recruiting an Early Stage Researcher (ESR) to a Disc4All, EU-funded training project, commencing 1 November, 2020. The Disc4All project is a consortium of academics and industry partners offering 15 ESR positions throughout the EU and UK – with an ambition to establish a novel framework enabling translational medicine to deliver for highly multifactorial disorders. The project is focussed on lumbar disc degeneration (LDD) – a leading cause of disability world-wide; incorporating, analysing and modelling large and far-ranging data sets to deliver clinical solutions.

We are looking for an enthusiastic team member to lead the data mining of viable LDD phenotypes from TwinsUK (globally the most extensively phenotyped Twin registry) and other large epidemiological datasets for inclusion in Disc4All analysis. The candidate will work in data curation and experimental computational modelling and the implementation of models and simulations (M&S) of multiscale and multidisciplinary data (e.g. imaging, physics and biology).

This ESR position involves PhD registration and lasts for 36 months. The role offers high-level and pioneering training in data integration, M&S technologies and bioinformatics with an aim to create traceable pathways between microbiome influences, disc infection, physical loading, cell metabolism, genetic polymorphisms and LDD clinical outcomes. Training focuses upon the molecular and epidemiological data and biomedical use of innovative statistical techniques. Candidates will gain experience conducting genome wide association (GWA) meta-analysis and Mendelian randomisation (MR). The student will also proactively develop and execute new microbiome and genetic statistical methods. Skills acquired during this degree will be extremely transferable; graduates will have a broad range of opportunities to contribute extensively to multifactorial disorders.

A minimum of seven additional training programs are offered over the course of the degree – annual winter and summer schools with one advanced training event where ESRs and other consortium collaborators come together to discuss and constructively challenge the progress of the project. ESRs will benefit from a unique inter-domain collaborative experience, developing expertise in scientific communication and connection to renowned international researchers.

This is an exciting opportunity to join a successful collaborative aspiring research team, working on an EU-ITN project investigating the biological basis of LDD.

Applicants will at the minimum have an upper-second class (2.1) honours life sciences degree (or overseas equivalent). Only candidates who demonstrate an exceptionally strong academic background in data analytics, computational science or statistics will be considered. A publication record is highly advantageous. Excellent written and oral communication skills are expected.
Applicants must have received their first degree qualifying them for PhD training within four years of the start date. Candidates must also meet the residency and mobility requirements of the Disc4All programme: At the time of recruitment the researcher must not have resided or carried out his/her main activity (work, studies etc) in the country of the recruiting institution for more than 12 months in the preceding 3 years immediately prior to recruitment.

Upon completion of this PhD the candidate will be ideally and uniquely placed to adopt a leading role in industry, academia or the public sector. 

Closing Date:22nd November 2020

Reference: 007944
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