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MRC Precision Medicine: Does severe mental illness predispose to cardiovascular and metabolic disease via an unfavourable adipose storage profile?

   College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences

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  Dr P Welsh  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Project summary:

People suffering from severe mental illnesses (such as depression, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder) have a substantially risk of obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Reasons for this are unclear, but could be due medication, socioeconomic or lifestyle factors or shared pathological mechanisms. This project use genetic predisposition to serious mental illness to explore whether severe mental illness promotes storage of fat tissue in a way that leads to diabetes and heart disease.

The project will use edpidemiology and statistical genetic approaches, using publicly available data and the UK Biobank study which has extensive genetic and clinical information. This project provides the opportunity to conduct research of global relevance with state of the art resources and in collaboration with leading experts in psychiatric, metabolic and cardiovascular genetics as well as experts in clinical trials of weight-loss intervention.

The student will be trained in the required methods within a data science framework. They are expected to have a BSc or MSc in a relevant field, with an understanding of genetics and statistics. Experience in data science and/or statistical genetics is an advantage.

Project Q&A Session

Wednesday 30th November, 1000 hrs.

ZOOM Meeting

Email: [Email Address Removed] for password information. 

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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