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Machine learning of multi-omics data for better diagnosis and treatment of complex human disorders


Project Description

We welcome applications for a PhD studentship available at the Dept of Computer Science, University of Sheffield in collaboration with the Sheffield Institute for Translational Neuroscience and the A*STAR Singapore Institute for Clinical Sciences. These two project mostly involve developing computational methodology for real-world applications in healthcare. While specific applications and approaches are mentioned, they can be tailored to the student’s personal interests.

Project (2 years in Sheffield and 2 years in Singapore):
Preeclampsia is a complex disorder that affects 3-5% of pregnant women and causes at least 50,000 maternal deaths per year worldwide, and also results in fetal death, growth restriction, and potential long-term morbidity. The disorder is thought to be part of a spectrum with a range of severities and symptoms. It has been difficult based on standard clinical features to classify the disorder more specifically so that more personalised treatments can be offered. The Growing Up in Singapore Towards Healthy Outcomes (GUSTO) study has collected rich molecular and health outcomes data from a large cohort of pregnant mothers. We will use machine learning and bioinformatics techniques to model differences between preeclampsia patients based on longitudinal molecular and clinical measures. These patient-specific models will be used to predict their health outcomes and the development of their children. We will also investigate associations with the treatments they received, for example, nutritional supplements or drugs. This will help clinical researchers develop new personalised medicines for this complex disorder.

Required Qualifications:
A first-class or upper second class honours degree in Mathematics, Statistics, Physics, Computer Science or Engineering discipline.

If English is not your first language, you must have an IELTS score of 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in each component.

To formally apply for the studentship, applicants need to apply directly to the University of Sheffield using the online application system. Please name Dennis Wang and Mauricio Alvarez as your proposed supervisors.

For more information on how to apply and a link to our application system, please see here:
http://www.sheffield.ac.uk/postgraduate/research/apply

Applications should include a personal statement, CV, transcripts and two references.

The personal statement (up to 4 A4 pages, including references) should outline your reasons for applying for this scholarship and how you would approach the researching, including details of your skills and experience in computational modelling and data analytics.

Funding Notes

Funding is eligible to UK/EU students only. Tuition fees are covered and a stipend will be provided at the RCUK rate of £15,285 / year in the UK. Expenses for Singapore visits will be covered as follows:

Living allowance: A monthly stipend of 2500 Singapore Dollars (~£1,050) whilst in Singapore
Housing allowance: Up to ~£300 per month.
A one-off "settling-in allowance" of 1000 Singapore dollars (~£420).
A one-time airfare allowance of 1500 Singapore dollars (~£630).
Conference allowance of £3000.
Consumables and Bench Fees incurred by students when based at A*Star in Singapore.
Cost of medical insurance whilst based at Singapore.

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