A bioinformatics approach to identifying ulcerative colitis patients at risk of developing colorectal cancer
Dr J Blayney
Prof R Kennedy
No more applications being accepted
Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), including ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn’s disease (CD), is one of the pre-disposing factors for colorectal cancer (CRC). Attempts have been made to characterise UC patients using gene expression profiling. Using such data to identify IBD patients who are at risk of developing CRC will enable the development of more effective tailored treatments, with the focus on more frequent screening and prophylactic colectomies. The overall objective of the proposed research is to develop a bioinformatics-based method, based on gene expression compositional ratios, to determine UC patients that are at risk from developing CRC, in particular CRC with metastatic potential and to identify possible infection-UC-CRC progression routes. The project will focus on the mining of archived gene expression datasets containing IBD and CRC gene expression samples with associated clinico-pathological data and will also consider the performance of published CRC prognosis gene signatures.
Candidates should have or expect to obtain a 2:1 or higher Honours degree or equivalent in a relevant biomedical or life sciences subject.
Candidates applying from countries where the first language is not English should produce evidence of their competence through a qualification such as IELTS or TOEFL score.
The minimum recommended score for the School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Science is:
• IELTS score of 6.0 with not less than 5.5 in each of the four component elements of listening, reading, speaking and writing taken within the last 2 years;
• TOEFL score of 80+ (internet basted test), taken within the last 2 years, with minimum component scores of; Listening 17, Reading 18, Speaking 20, Writing 17);
• A valid Certificate of Proficiency in English grade A or B;
• A valid Certificate of Advanced English grade A; or
• A first or upper second class honours degree from a university based in the UK, Republic of Ireland or other suitably quality assured location in a country deemed by the UK Border Agency to be majority English speaking.
For a list of English Language qualifications also accepted by the School and University please see the following link:
The English Language Unit (ELU) offers both pre-sessional and in-sessional courses in English for academic purposes and study skills. Courses vary in length and full information can be obtained from the ELU http://www.qub.ac.uk/tefl/
DEL Research Studentships
Eligibility for both fees and maintenance (£14,057 for 2015/16, 2016/17 TBC) depends on the applicants being either an ordinary UK resident or those EU residents who have lived permanently in the UK for the 3 years immediately preceding the start of the studentship.
Non UK residents who hold EU residency may also apply but if successful may receive fees only.
For further details re eligibility criteria (including academic, citizenship and residency criteria) please click on the following link: http://www.delni.gov.uk/index/further-and-higher-education/higher-education/studentfinance/he-student-info-postgrad-finance.htm
Please visit the School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences, Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology, website for further details about the Centre:
When applying, please choose 'MEDICINE' as your subject area/School.