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Algorithms and mathematical methodology to help shed light into the armsrace between microbes and their hosts (HUBERU16SF)

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  • Full or part time
    Dr Huber
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Self-Funded PhD Students Only
    Self-Funded PhD Students Only

Project Description

As was recognised in the awarding of the Longitude 2014 prize [1], finding ways to combat ever increasing microbial resistance to currently available drugs is one of the great challenges of our time. Understanding how microbes evolve is fundamental for this making it necessary to have powerful mathematical methodology and efficient algorithms at hand to help model microbial evolution. Data such as those produced by high-throughput sequencing have lent support to the idea that the processes that drive the evolution of these organisms is more complex than originally thought. Such processes include lateral gene transfer whereby, on a high level, genetic material from one species is included in the genome of another species. Examples of this include the avian flu virus H7N9 which has already caused the death of more than 170 people in China since April 2013 [2].

The PhD project is within the area of bioinformatics/computational biology and uses a unique combination of approaches from phylogenetics, graph theory, and combinatorics. Using big data, its aim is to develop novel mathematical methodology and efficient algorithms to help shed light into the evolutionary armsrace between microbes and their hosts. The successful candidate will be working in a vibrant research environment provided by an internationally recognised team working at the forefront of their field. They will have a strong back ground in computer science, mathematics or engineering but prior knowledge of phylognetics or biology is not required.

Funding Notes

This project is offered on a self-funding basis. It is open to applicants with funding or those applying to funding sources. Details of tuition fees can be found at http://www.uea.ac.uk/pgresearch/pgrfees.

A bench fee is also payable on top of the tuition fee to cover specialist equipment or laboratory costs required for the research. The amount charged annually will vary considerably depending on the nature of the project and applicants should contact the primary supervisor for further information about the fee associated with the project.

References

[1] www.nesta.org.uk/project/longitude-prize02914
[2] http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/watch/avian-flu-h7n9-china

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