PhD position in genomic analysis with Dr Lucy Crooks at Sheffield Hallam University, Department of Biosciences and Chemistry.
I have funding for a UK/EU PhD student to start on October 2nd.
The project is in the area of disease genomics with a focus on schizophrenia. The aim is to develop and apply an approach to identify variants contributing to a specific disease. It would take an alternative perspective to GWAS, using combined biological knowledge and pathogenicity predictions from multiple databases and assuming that each patient may have a different variant. It should work with moderately-sized patient groups. The extensive list of variants in a patient will first be filtered to a shortlist based on the biological information. The value of using gene expression data to define differential expression in the brain will particularly be investigated. Then processes that are implicated by the combined set of variants across patients will be searched for. You will work with variants calls from existing exome sequences and with publically available gene expression data.
The lifetime prevalence of schizophrenia is 0.5-1% and it is ranked as the 12th highest worldwide cause of disability. It is a chronic condition that can impact on your ability to think, your emotions and behaviour. People with schizophrenia are often unable to connect and properly function in the society around them. Identifying genetic variants and the process involved in schizophrenia should lead to people being diagnosed quicker and more targeted treatments, which would improve patient prognosis and wellbeing. The developed method should be of broad interest for identifying variants in other diseases and relevant to interpreting results from the NHS 100,000 genomes project.
You would be a part of the Sheffield Bioinformatics Hub, which includes several researchers from the University of Sheffield and their PhD students. The Hub provides support, opportunities for seminars and discussion and to learn from other members. Sheffield is a lovely city, there are plenty of green spaces and the Peak District is nearby. Living costs are reasonable and many students like the city so much that they stay on here.
You should have at least a 2.1 Honours degree in either a biological subject with a maths or statistics component, physics, or computer science. I particularly encourage you to apply if you have experience in large-scale data analysis or programming in a language such as Perl, however this is not necessary. You will need to demonstrate that you have a logical mind and are good at solving novel problems.
Closing date for applications is 30th June.
For further details, including how to apply please go to http://www.findaphd.com?pj=86852
If you are interested in the studentship and would like to discuss it with me, please contact me at L.Crooks@shu.ac.uk
Departmental website https://www.shu.ac.uk/about-us/our-people/staff-profiles/lucy-crooks
Sheffield Bioinformatics Hub website http://bioinformatics.group.shef.ac.uk/