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Investigating risk factors for persistence of childhood food allergies into young adult life

Faculty of Medicine

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Prof H Arshad No more applications being accepted Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project

Faculty of Medicine (Clinical and Experimental Sciences)

Other members of the supervisory team:
(i) Prof Graham Roberts, Faculty of Medicine, (ii) Dr Carina Venter, Faculty of Medicine (Hon) and University of Colorado, US, (iii) Dr Faisal Rezwan, Faculty of Medicine, UoS (Hon) and Cranfield University, UK

Duration of the award: 3 years, full-time

Food allergy is responsible for the majority of fatal allergic reactions in the UK and worldwide. Food allergy often begins during childhood and often the more severe forms persists causing most fatalities. We have incomplete understanding of why allergy to egg and milk resolves in most children but persists in some. Further, factors determining persistent and severe forms of food allergy, such as to peanut and sesame remain unknown.

This PhD studentship will focus on identifying genetic and environmental risk factors for the persistence of childhood food allergy taking advantage of the data from our well-established cohorts. The Isle of Wight birth cohort (n=1456) has been assessed at multiple time-points for allergic diseases, including food allergy since birth. FAIR study consists of multiple cohorts, reporting oral challenge proven childhood food allergy for the first time. Existing data from these cohorts is vast and includes measures of allergen sensitization, environmental exposures and genetic and epigenetics. This provides us with the opportunity to investigate factors that determine persistence or growing out of food allergy. Machine learning tools will be applied to develop predictive models. Appropriate training will be provided.

The University of Southampton and David Hide Centre on the Isle of Wight provide excellent research environment. The PhD student will have access to a number of benefits in addition to the University of Southampton and Faculty of Medicine opportunities; training support, mentorship scheme, a multidisciplinary research environment as well as opportunities to attend courses and conferences.

Candidate requirements:
Candidates should have, or be expected to achieve, a first class honours or 2:1 degree qualification (or equivalent) in a relevant discipline. A relevant Master’s degree would be desirable but not a prerequisite.

Please contact: Professor S. Hasan Arshad [Email Address Removed]

Person Specification: See below.

The successful candidate is likely to have the following qualifications:
• A 1stor 2:1 degree (or equivalent) in a relevant discipline and/or second degree with a related Masters

Administrative contact and how to apply:
Please complete the University’s online application form, which you can find at

You should enter Professor S. Hasan Arshad as your proposed supervisor. To support your application provide an academic CV (including contact details of two referees), official academic transcripts and a personal statement (outlining your suitability for the studentship, what you hope to achieve from the PhD and your research experience to date).

Informal enquiries relating to the project or candidate suitability should be directed to Professor S. Hasan Arshad ([Email Address Removed]).

Funding Notes

Funding is provided for a student stipend (1st year: £15,385 to 3rd year: £16,165). Funding is also provided to cover University fees (1st year: £4,436 to 3rd year; £4,661).
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