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Multidimensional Signatures of Rheumatic Heart Disease In Southern Africa (GCRF)

Project Description

Rheumatic heart disease (RHD) is the only cardiovascular disease of global impact that has been shown to be completely preventable. Poor social conditions, overcrowding, and limited access to medical resources are key enablers of RHD, resulting in a major source of morbidity and mortality, especially in low and middle-income countries (LMICs). Up to 40 million people are currently living with RHD worldwide, and most are in countries where advanced medical technologies such as percutaneous or surgical intervention are not accessible. The Global Burden of Disease study has shown that RHD affects nearly five million more people than HIV and causing about 10 million disability adjusted life years lost globally.

Genetic susceptibility is thought to play a role in the development of RHD, and there is convincing evidence that RHD results from the interaction between host genes, streptococcal pharyngitis, and social conditions of poverty. The aim of this project is to identify multidimensional signatures predictive of RHD through the use of advanced informatics techniques. Through the combination of complex data and the use of AI, machine learning and health informatics diagnostic tools for this disease will be developed. Then we can consider the initiation of work to develop point of care tests for LMICs.

This project will use existing data on potential biomarkers for RHD. Digitised proteomic maps have already been generated from patients with confirmed RHD and matched controls. In-depth clinical and phenotypic information, as well as genetic data are also available for this cohort. These, with the aid of advanced computation techniques, will be used together to identify those signatures of RHD.

The successful candidate will join an interdisciplinary team of biologist, clinicians, geneticists, statisticians and computer scientists and collaborate with experts throughout the University of Manchester and the University of Cape Town.

Entry Requirements
Candidates are expected to hold (or be about to obtain) an Upper Second class Honours degree (or equivalent) in a related area / subject.

If you are interested in this project, please make direct contact with the Principal Supervisor to arrange to discuss the project further as soon as possible. You MUST also submit an online application form - choose PhD Cancer Sciences. Full details on how to apply can be found on the GCRF website

Funding Notes

The GCRF PhD studentship programme is a 4 year programme with integrated teaching certificate. There are up to 12 studentships available. Applicants can apply to one project which will start in either April or September 2020.

Funding for the programme will include tuition fees, an annual stipend at the minimum Research Councils UK rate (around £15,000 for 2019/20), a research training grant, training allowance and travel allowance.

As an equal opportunities institution we welcome applicants from all sections of the community regardless of gender, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation and transgender status. All appointments are made on merit.

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