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MRC Precision Medicine DTP: Exploring how genetic predisposition to serious mental illness influences cardiovascular disease

Project Description

Dr Rona Strawbridge
Dr Bruna Gigante

Project summary:
People suffering from severe mental illnesses (such as depression, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder) have a substantially risk of 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 the extent to which they influence cardiovascular outcomes, phenotypes and biomarkers, and to clarify the mechanisms involved. Further analysis will determine whether effects are sex-specific or generic.

The project will use statistical genetic approaches in both population-based and cardiovascular cohorts with extensive phenotyping to identify which processes leading to cardiometabolic diseases are influenced by severe mental illness. 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.

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.

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. Please note that your application along with any supporting documents will be shared with between both the University of Edinburgh and Glasgow.

For information on ‘How to Apply’ is detailed here:
Please note that all applications must be submitted via the University of Edinburgh:

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 from the link above.

For more information about Precision Medicine visit:

Funding Notes

Start: September 2020

Qualifications criteria: Applicants applying for a 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.

Residence criteria: The MRC DTP in Precision Medicine grant provides tuition fees and stipend of at least £15,009 (RCUK rate 2019/20) for UK and EU nationals that meet all required eligibility criteria.

Full eligibility details are available: View Website

Enquiries regarding programme:

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