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Stratifying Intestinal Epithelial Cell Responses in Inflammmatory Bowel Disease Patients

College of Medicine, Veterinary and Life Sciences

, Thursday, January 07, 2021 Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Prof Kevin Maloy
Dr Gwo-tzer Ho

Project summary:
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a chronic inflammatory disorder of the intestine with no current cure and individual patient responses to current treatments vary widely. A better understanding of which patients are likely to respond to specific treatments will improve patient outcomes and save money. One poorly understood aspect of IBD is how the intestinal epithelial cells (IEC) that line the gut change during inflammation and how this may be targeted to promote healing. New techniques have made it possible to isolate and grow IEC from patient biopsies. The aim of this project is to assess how patient IEC respond to inflammatory mediators released by local immune cells. We will use a technique called RNA-sequencing to assess how gene expression by IEC changes during inflammation and healing and look for shared signatures that reflect particular biological pathways. We will also use a technique called metabolomics to measure how IEC physiology changes and perform genome sequencing to look for mutations that are known to affect the risk of developing IBD. Using bioinformatics, the multi-omics data will be integrated to look for associations between particular genetic mutations and the responses of IEC to inflammation. This will allow us to stratify patients that may respond to drugs that target specific pathways in a personalized medicine strategy.

This MRC programme is joint between the Universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow. You will be registered at the host institution of the primary supervisor detailed in your project selection.

All applications should be made via the University of Edinburgh, irrespective of project location via the link below.

Please note, you must apply to one of the projects and you must contact the primary supervisor prior to making your application. Additional information on the application process is available from the link above.

For more information about Precision Medicine and what is required when submitting an application, please visit:

Funding Notes

Start: September 2021

Qualifications criteria: Applicants applying for an MRC DTP in Precision Medicine studentship must have obtained, or will soon obtain, a first or upper-second class UK honours degree or equivalent non-UK qualification, in an appropriate science/technology area. The MRC DTP in Precision Medicine grant provides tuition fees and stipend of at least £15,285 (UKRI rate 2020/21).

Full eligibility details are available: View Website

Enquiries regarding programme:

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