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MRC Precision Medicine: Bayesian statistical data integration of single-cell and bulk “OMICS” datasets for accurate prediction of clinical outcomes in rheumatoid arthritis

   College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences

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  Dr Thomas Otto, Dr M Gupta  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Project summary:

Rheumatoid arthritis and Psoriasis Arthritis are immune mediated inflammatory diseases that are very challenging to treat. Treatment outcome depends on many factors (genetics, predisposition, BMI, smoking, previous use of drugs) of which many are unknown and hidden to the clinicians. Many datasets exist, but they are asynchronous, so they cannot be easily combined to help in the stratification of patient outcomes. One challenge is generating computational methods to combine and analyse biological (including genomics, transcriptomics and proteomics) with clinical data. In this PhD we propose to generate computational methods (Bayesian statistical framework in the latent space) to integrate existing data from many studies stored in our IMID-Bio-UK database.

First you will learn about immune mediated inflammatory diseases, why they are difficult to treat and what is required for clinically-relevant precision medicine, from our clinical expert Stefan Siebert. Thomas Otto and his bioinformatics team will teach you what data exist,

ranging from genomic, transcriptomic to spatial data. Finally, you will apply and create machine learning methods to integrate these data to help in the stratification of treatment under the supervision of our statistician expert Mayetri Gupta.

This multidisciplinary project serves as an excellent example of precision medicine, combining big data with machine learning to improve the outcome of treatment, and will leave the successful candidate well placed for a career in precision medicine a the end of the PhD. 

About the Programme 

This MRC programme is joint between the Universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow. You will be registered at the host institution of the primary supervisor detailed in your project selection. 

All applications should be made via the University of Edinburgh, irrespective of project location. For those applying to a University of Glasgow project, your application along with any supporting documents will be shared with University of Glasgow.

How to Apply:  

Please note, you must apply to one of the projects and you must contact the primary supervisor prior to making your application. Additional information on the application process is available here:

For more information about Precision Medicine visit: 

Application Enquiries

Alexis Merry

[Email Address Removed]

Funding Notes

Start: September 2023

Qualifications criteria: Applicants applying for an MRC DTP in Precision Medicine studentship must have obtained, or will soon obtain, a first or upper-second class UK honours degree or equivalent non-UK qualification, in an appropriate science/technology area. The MRC DTP in Precision Medicine grant provides tuition fees and stipend of at least £17,668 (UKRI rate 2022/23).

Full eligibility details are available:

Enquiries regarding programme: [Email Address Removed]
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