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Repurposing cardiovascular disease medicines to prevent neurodegenerative diseases: Analyses of electronic health records


Project Description

We are looking for a student to join our Pharmacoepidemiology and Medication Safety Research Cluster. We’re a group of clinicians and researchers working at University College London working with electronic health care data, with expertise in pharmacoepidemiology.

Neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s Disease and Parkinson’s Disease are common in older populations, affecting about 7% (PD) and 3% (PD) over 65. There are currently no safe and effective drugs to prevent these diseases and treatment is aimed at managing symptoms. Evidence from animal studies shows that users of medications for the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease may be protected against neurodegenerative diseases. The proposed project will use electronic health records from general practices to investigate whether drugs used for the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease are associated with a lower risk of neurodegenerative outcomes.

Main methods and techniques

The student is expected to work with ‘big data’. For this purpose, the student will be taught to work with STATA, SAS or comparable statistical software. The student will receive training to become familiar with various study designs that can be used and will gain experience in epidemiological study methods, data analysis, systematic reviews as well as writing papers for peer-reviewed journals. Attendance at formal training courses will be encouraged.

Person specification

Applicants are expected to preferably hold a first degree (minimum 2.1) in Pharmacy, although a first degree in Public Health, Epidemiology, Maths or Statistics will be considered.

Applicants will also need to meet UCL MPhil/PhD entry and English Language requirements. See link for further details https://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/research-degrees/pharmacy-mphil-phd

The student stipend will be paid at UCL normal rates (stipend rate for 2019/20 is £17,009 with additional increments in Years 2 and 3 of the studentship).

To be eligible for a full award, applications are invited from UK citizens only.

How to apply

Applications must include CV, personal statement, and the contact details of two referees. Applications should be emailed to

Informal enquires can be made to Dr Ruth Brauer ( ) and Prof Li Wei ()

The deadline for applications is 12th June 2020. Interview details will be confirmed at a later date.

How good is research at University College London in Clinical Medicine?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 449.74

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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