Imperial College London Featured PhD Programmes
Imperial College London Featured PhD Programmes
The Chinese University of Hong Kong Featured PhD Programmes

Exploring T-cell receptor clonal diversity as a biomarker for myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME/CFS)

   College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine

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  Prof C Ponting  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project

Collaborators: Prof Georg Holländer (Universities of Oxford (& Basel), Dr Lia Chappell (Wellcome Sanger Institute), Simon McGrath (blogger and advocate)

ME/CFS is a devastating long-term condition affecting 250,000 UK individuals. People with ME experience severe, persistent fatigue associated with post-exertional malaise. A few make good progress and may recover, while most others remain ill for years and may never recover. There is no known cause, or effective treatment for most. Join us to investigate whether ME stems from an immune dysfunction. This is your opportunity to make a difference to some of 17 million people worldwide with ME.

We seek an ambitious and enthusiastic PhD student from: physics, chemistry, mathematics, engineering, biology, or biochemistry. You would (a) engage with people with ME, (b) set up cutting-edge technology investigating single cells1, (c) generate and analyse large data sets, and (d) present your results in national and, potentially, international meetings.

Evidence that ME could be immunological has been found by Dr Mark Davis’ group (Stanford). They found that people with ME exhibit increased T cell receptor (TCR) clonal expansion in both pooled and single cell samples. Here, we will implement existing technology1 at scale: for 1000s of cells from (potentially) 100s of ME cases and controls.

We are very grateful to the Chief Scientist Office (CSO) and Action for M.E. for funding.

Please apply at:

Funding Notes

The successful applicant (UK/EU student) will be awarded a 3-year studentship, which includes the stipend and tuition fees (at the UK/EU rate).


1Gierahn et al. (2017) Seq-Well: portable, low-cost RNA sequencing of single cells at high throughput. Nat Methods. 14:395-398.
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