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The Genetic Analysis of Multiple Sclerosis

Department of Clinical Neurosciences

Thursday, December 03, 2020 Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Through genome-wide association studies and related follow up efforts we have identified over 100 genetic variants that influence the risk of developing multiple sclerosis. These variants map almost exclusively to regulatory regions of the genome that are active in immune cells suggesting that these variants primarily exert their effects by altering the expression of otherwise normal genes in critically important immune cell sub-types.
In work already completed we have established that at least two of the associated variants influence the expression of key immune signalling genes in B cell sub-types. These data confirm the importance of B cells in pathogenesis which is in keeping with the latest clinical trial data showing the positive effects of anti-B cell therapies. This project will focus on fine mapping the causal variants underlying observed associations by exploring the expression of key immune genes in B cell subtypes. The work will involve mapping of transcription and chromatin architecture, as well as protein expression and cell function.

The successful student will work closely with colleagues at the McGill University Epigenomics Mapping which is a leading institution in the International Human Epigenome Consortium (IHEC), the project may include the opportunity for willing students to spend a period of their research in Montreal.

Funding Notes

Funding deadline is 3rd December 2020 for start in October 2021. When applying indicate on the application the funding options (GATES USA *deadline 14/10/20*, Gates Cambridge or other Cambridge Funders). Home/EU and International applications are all considered for funding.

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