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Identifying the genetic architecture of depression in African ancestry populations

College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine

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Prof A McIntosh , Dr Karoline Kuchenbaecker No more applications being accepted Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
Edinburgh United Kingdom Genetics Neuroscience Psychology

About the Project

The successful applicant will develop a project examining the genetic architecture of major depressive disorder (MDD) in African ancestries. They will have access to genetic data from samples collected within Africa, as well as those collected from African American and African European individuals residing in high-income countries. The student will examine the polygenicity of MDD within these contexts, and the genetic overlap of depression with obesity, education and other traits through the use of polygenic profiling and ldscore regression. The student will also learn how to perform a GWAS meta-analysis of MDD and methods of combining individuals of diverse ancestries

The successful applicant will be expected to be resident in Malawi for the majority of the programme with study periods in UK for research training. The proposed studentship would therefore suit someone either living in Malawi wishing to undertake supported training by a UK university, or someone looking to relocate their base to Malawi

Funding Notes

3 years UKRI minimum stipend (tax-free) – £15,609 for 2021/22
UoE tuition fees
£5000p.a consumables and £300p.a. travel
Here are the entry requirements for postgraduate study at the University of Edinburgh:
A background in genetics or bioinformatics would be desirable. Individuals with a background in psychology or neurosciences will also be considered where there is a strong quantitative component


1. Howard et al (2019) Nature Neuro 22, 343–352 (2019).
2. Peterson R, Kuchenbaecker K, et al. (2019) Cell, 179(3), 589-603.
3. McIntosh et al (2020) Neuron

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