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PhD in Dementia Research - Detecting dysfunction in the single-cell gene networks underlying Parkinson’s disease.

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Sunday, March 31, 2019
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder and results from the selective loss of dopaminergic neurons within the Substantia nigra pars compacta. Across a range of modalities, a wealth of molecular data has been generated including a large number of single cell studies of dopaminergic neurons, both from stem cell (iPSC) models and post-mortem nigral tissue. A substantial proportion of this single cell data resides within the Webber group through their bioinformatics role in multiple PD consortia and collaborations. Each single cell gene expression profile offers a snapshot of a transcriptional programme of a dopaminergic neuron either in health or disease. By bioinformatically ordering these cellular snapshots, we can recapitulate the dynamics of the whole gene expression programme. We will exploit this data to deduce the gene regulatory wiring of a dopaminergic neuron, determine how this network is altered due to genetic and environmental perturbations associated with Parkinson’s disease, and then test our predictions within existing cellular models within the lab

Funding Notes

The funding for the studentship is provided by the UK Dementia Research Institute at Cardiff. Funding is in competition with 5 projects advertised, and an anticipation to fund 3.
Full UK/EU tuition fees
Doctoral stipend matching UK Research Council National Minimum.
Additional funding is available over the course of the programme and will cover costs such as research consumables and training.

Applicants should possess a minimum of an upper second class Honours degree, master's degree, or equivalent in a relevant subject.
Applicants whose first language is not English are normally expected to meet the minimum University requirements (e.g. 6.5 IELTS)


The duration of the PhD will be 3.5 years
A minimum of a 2.1 or Masters in a relevant degree subject is required. Relevant degree subjects include biological sciences molecular biology/genetics, bioinformatics, mathematics, computer science or statistics. Candidates with a biological science background would need to demonstrate a keen interest/capability with computational approaches, while those from a computational or mathematical background would need to demonstrate an interest in biological systems and applications.

In order to be considered you must submit a formal application via Cardiff University’s online application service. (To access the system click 'Apply Online' at the bottom of this advert)
There is a box at the top right of the page labelled ‘Apply’, please ensure you select the correct ‘Qualification’ (Doctor of Philosophy), the correct ‘Mode of Study’ (Full Time) and the correct ‘Start Date’ (October 2019). This will take you to the application portal.
In order to be considered candidates must submit the following information:

• Supporting statement
• CV
• Qualification certificates
• References x 2 (references are optional but will strengthen your application)
• Proof of English language (if applicable)

In the 'Research proposal and Funding' section of your application, please specify the project title and supervisors of the project and copy the project description in the text box provided.
Please select 'No, I am not self-funding my research' when asked whether you are self-funding your research.
In the funding section, please select "I will be applying for a scholarship / grant" and specify that you are applying for advertised funding from UK DRI.

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