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PhD studentship in Metabolomics and Molecular Epidemiology
PhD studentship in Metabolomics and Molecular Epidemiology

PhD studentship in Metabolomics and Molecular Epidemiology

Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics and Department of Surgery and Cancer, Imperial College London

Development and Application of Novel Analytical Methods for Metabolite Structure Elucidation

Supervisors: Professor Paul Elliott, Dr Toby Athersuch and Dr Isabel Garcia-Perez

Project Outline: This three-year studentship aims to provide the student with a thorough training in conducting research at the interface of analytical chemistry, metabolic profiling, and molecular epidemiology. Using existing resources available in the Airwave population study, the student will work towards the development of improved analytical and/or data analysis tools, and employ them to positively identify key metabolites related to adverse health outcomes such as cardiovascular disease and obesity. This will require versatility to move between data-driven and hypothesis-driven aspects of the research area in order to prioritise unknown compounds of interest, provide unequivocal identities, and subsequently interpret / investigate their biological relevance. Supervision from Prof Elliott (Dept Epidemiology & Biostatistics) will ensure access to relevant data and samples in the Airwave cohort study, and facilitate training in relevant methods relating to metabolome-wide association studies. Under supervision of Drs Athersuch and Garcia-Perez (Dept. Surgery & Cancer), the student would work extensively on developing and applying complementary approaches of metabolite identification in both the wet lab and dry lab environments within a world-class analytical laboratory.

Person Specification: As the project is centred on spectroscopic analysis and interpretation it would be ideal for an individual with a Masters-level qualification in (bio)chemical sciences and practical experience of both molecular spectroscopy (NMR, MS) and separation science. Skills in chemometric / multivariate statistical analysis would also be beneficial to enable efficient integration of metabolome into the existing analysis pipeline for the AIRWAVE study.

The MRC-PHE Centre for Environment and Health is an internationally recognised centre of excellence for leading cutting edge multidisciplinary research on the health effects of environmental pollutants and the translation of this knowledge to inform national and international policies to improve health. Successful candidates will be supported by the Centre’s training programme structure and will be provided with bespoke research training to ensure our students are equipped with the appropriate skills and experience to become first class researchers.

Studentships will include tuition fees and a minimum stipend of £17,500 per annum for UK and EU nationals living in the UK for the past three years. Non-EU international students or EU nationals who have not been residing in the past 3 years will not be eligible.

More information and instructions for how to apply can be found on our website.

Application deadline: 13th March 2016. Interviews to be held 21st March 2016.

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