Investigation into the environmental, genetic and infectious risks for gastrointestinal signs in dogs
The identification of environmental influences and interactions on the development of disease are critical to determine the basis of complex genetic based traits (1). The Dogslife project (www.dogslife.ac.uk) was launched in 2010 to collate a cohort of Labrador Retrievers for the longitudinal study of health and disease (2). This PhD project will evaluate the database information recorded for dogs participating in Dogslife, and provide a doctoral training in the quantitative analysis of big epidemiological and genetic datasets. During the 3-year studentship the successful candidate will evaluate existing environmental, host genetic, microbial and environmental datasets for the infectious and non-infectious risks associated with the development of gastrointestinal (GI) signs in the Dogslife cohort as they age, and the interactions between them. New risks will also be assessed using nested case-control studies.
To date there are over 5,900 dogs enrolled in Dogslife, with dogs followed for up to five years of their life. The collection of questionnaire data, digital uploads, and biological samples, provide a unique resource of information for investigation of illness phenotypes. GI signs are by far the most common illnesses reported by owners of pet dogs. Preliminary analysis of the Dogslife cohort has revealed that frequently GI signs do not result in the requirement for a veterinary presentation, yet they remain a significant cause of morbidity (3). Although a number of infectious causes are known to cause GI signs, the aetiology of the vast majority of cases remains unknown. This project seeks to identify environmental and infectious risk factors for GI signs in dogs, in particular modifiable risks, that could be used to reduce the high prevalence of GI signs in the general dog population.
Applications including a statement of interest and full CV with names and addresses (including email addresses) of two academic referees, should be sent to: Liz Archibald, The Roslin Institute, The University of Edinburgh, Easter Bush, Midlothian, EH25 9RG or emailed to RDSVS.PGR.Admin@ed.ac.uk.
When applying for the studentship please state clearly the title of the studentship and the supervisor/s in your covering letter.
All applicants should also apply through the University’s on-line application system for September 2016 entry via http://www.ed.ac.uk/studying/postgraduate/degrees/index.php?r=site/view&id=826
International students should also apply for an Edinburgh Global Research Studentship (http://www.ed.ac.uk/schools-departments/student-funding/postgraduate/international/global/research).
ALL APPLICATION PROCEDURES MUST BE COMPLETED BY THE CLOSING DATE 1st FEBRUARY 2016
(1) Pugh CA et al (2014) Canine Genetics and Epidemiology, 1, 5
(2) Clements DN et al (2013) BMC Veterinary Research, 9, 13
(3) Pugh CA et al (2015) Preventative Veterinary Medicine, doi: 10.1016/j.prevetmed.2015.06.020