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Funded MSc in Cancer Genomics and Bioinformatics - Bioinformatic identification of mechanisms of tumour evolution in breast cancer genomes

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Monday, May 01, 2017
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Genome and exome sequencing studies have confirmed vast heterogeneity in mutational rates and signatures in cancer genomes, and have facilitated the tracking of tumour development and evolution. This M.Sc. project will investigate mutational signatures in breast cancer genomes to identify mechanisms of tumour development, evolution and response to therapy. The student will combine data from thousands of publically available cancer genome sequences and whole exome sequencing data from patients using existing and novel bioinformatics approaches. The project builds on the Principal Investigator’s expertise in Cancer Bioinformatics & Genomics and Next Generation Sequencing Data analysis [1-4]. The position is funded by the Irish Cancer Society BREAST-PREDICT Collaborative Research Centre.The student will be based in the Cancer Genomics & Bioinformatics Research Group under the supervision of Dr. Simon Furney (http://pi.rcsi.ie/pi/simonfurney/index.asp).

Please note the following important points:

1. Due to funding conditions ONLY EU applicants are eligible to apply.
2. This is a bioinformatics-based M.Sc.
3. This is a fully-funded, full-time, 12 month position.
4. Depending on funding, the position could be extended into a Ph.D. subsequently.

NB: APPLICATION PROCESS PLEASE SEE: http://www.rcsi.ie/cat_course_detail.jsp?n=2214&p=2122&itemID=501
Informal enquiries can be directed to .

Application Deadline: Monday 1st May 2017 at 11.30 p.m.
Interview date: early May 2017

Funding Notes

The successful candidate should be able to demonstrate the following:


Have been awarded or be in the process of obtaining an Honours Bachelor degree (First Class OR very good Upper Second Class degree) in Genomics, Genetics or Bioinformatics, Mathematical Biology or similar subject

A passion for biology and genomics

Strong interest in cancer research

Expertise in/aptitude for programming and scripting

Good communication skills

Strong organisational and administrative skills

English language requirements for candidates who do not speak English as their first language: an IELTS score of 6.5 or above


An aptitude for mathematics/statistics


1. Piraino SW and Furney SJ*. Identification of coding and non-coding mutational hotspots in cancer genomes. BMC Genomics. 2017, 8(1):17.
2. Toomey S, Madden SF, Furney SJ, Fan Y, McCormack M, Stapleton C, Cremona M, Cavalleri GL, Milewska M, Elster N, Carr A, Fay J, Kay EW, Kennedy S, Crown J, Gallagher WM, Hennessy BT, Eustace AJ. The impact of ERBB-family germline single nucleotide polymorphisms on survival response to adjuvant trastuzumab treatment in HER2-positive breast cancer. Oncotarget 2016, (46):75518-75525.
3. Viros A, Sanchez-Laorden B, Pedersen M, Furney SJ, Rae J, Hogan K, Ejiama S, Girotti MR, Cook M, Dhomen N et al: Ultraviolet radiation accelerates BRAF-driven melanomagenesis by targeting TP53. Nature 2014, 511(7510):478-482.
4. Furney SJ, Pedersen M, Gentien D, Dumont AG, Rapinat A, Desjardins L, Turajlic S, Piperno-Neumann S, de la Grange P, Roman-Roman S et al: SF3B1 mutations are associated with alternative splicing in uveal melanoma. Cancer Discov 2013, 3(10):1122-1129.

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