Precision Medicine: Pharmacogenomics in modern clinical practice
Adverse Drug Reactions (ADRs) are a significant cause of hospitalisations and deaths, that incur significant costs to health care providers. Of patients admitted with an ADR, ~30% are caused by drugs with a known major clinically significant pharmacogenomics variant, and 69% of affected patients are also taking another medication with a known pharmacogenomic associated variant. Being able to identify patients with clinically relevant pharmacogenomic variants before starting medication has huge benefits to both patients and health care providers. The patient benefits most obviously from not suffering from ADRs; they can also benefit from getting the best medication for them more quickly without a trial and error process that can sometimes be employed. Health Services benefit by reducing the costs and freeing up care providers time associated with ADRs. To gain the full potential of pharmacogenomics in a clinical setting, comprehensive, accurate and cost-effective methods of identifying relevant genotypes are needed. Microarrays provide a way to achieve this: microarrays are capable of providing genotype information on 10,000s of variants in a single, cost effective, experiment. While microarrays are extremely effective at genotyping single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), other types of variants, in particular, copy number variations (CNVs) and HLA typing, are less established. While there are many algorithms for genotyping these types of variants from microarray data that are used in research settings, it has not been established whether they are robust enough for clinical use.
This project aims to establish and validate methods for “complex” genotyping on microarray for clinical use. Using methods that are widely adopted in research, the project will determine which algorithms produce results that are accurate enough for clinical use and under what conditions, if any, they are not appropriate to use. The outcomes of the project will be implemented into a pharmacogenomics testing service that is being established with the state health care provider.
We are looking for a student with an interest in translation research. You should have, or expect to gain, a degree in genetics, bioinformatics or a related field. Experience in programming and working in a Linux computing environment would be advantageous, but not essential.
Australian and International applicants are eligible to apply. Selected candidates will be required to apply to competitive scholarships through the Faculty of Health, QUT and will be assisted with their applications. PhD scholarships are approx. $(AUD) 27 596pa for 3.5 years full time study. PhD applicants must have completed or be expected to complete a first class hons or a Masters degree (>25% research).
Demonstrated research excellence, such as academic awards, presentations and peer-reviewed publications are desirable, but not essential.
International students must meet entry requirements for QUT https://www.qut.edu.au/research/study-with-us/how-to-apply#Step_1_Entry_requirements.
For more information about scholarships and postgraduate study at QUT https://www.qut.edu.au/research/study-with-us.