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PhD in Dementia Research - Integration of genetic and functional data to identify drug targets and enhance risk prediction

  • Full or part time
    Prof V Escott-Price
  • Application Deadline
    Monday, April 08, 2019
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Integrating brain expression and protein-protein interaction data with genomic data, identified a network of immune-related genes implicated in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) susceptibility. We propose to use functional data from relevant tissues to refine this network and incorporate the results into measures of genetic disease risk prediction. In particular we will seek to incorporate epigenomic data into gene and pathway based analyses. The student will incorporate the results of these analyses into standard measures of genetic risk (polygenic risk scores) and investigate the extent to which this improves risk prediction. The aims of the project are 1. Develop methods for the integration of gene regulatory information (epigenomics) into pathway and gene based analysis of GWAS data; 2. Use public and in-house tissue specific data to inform gene-wide analyses in AD; 3. Prioritise genes and variants of interest in a tissue-specific way, for biological study of AD; 4. Generate gene networks and polygenic scores based upon them, for AD risk prediction.

Funding Notes

The funding for the studentship is provided by the UK Dementia Research Institute at Cardiff. Funding is in competition with 2 projects advertised, and an anticipation to fund 1.
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 years
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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