Forum:Phd Scholarship -Statistical Genetics - Ankylosing Spondylitis
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10.5 years ago
Elena ▴ 90

The Statistical Genetics group at the University of Queensland Diamantina Institute aims to understand the genetic basis of common complex traits and diseases and develop statistical methodology to better accomplish this task. For more information on UQDI's Statistical Genetics Group and their contributions to genetic research refer to the website.

The project

The successful Scholar will pursue a PhD degree within the Statistical Genetics Group at the UQ Diamantina Institute. Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is a common inflammatory auto-immune arthritis. The condition primarily affects the spine and sacroiliac joints of the pelvis, causing pain and stiffness and eventual fusion. AS sufferers experience significant physical and psychological pain, decreased quality of life and reduced lifespan. Early diagnosis of AS is difficult since Xrays of the spine typically don't show characteristic changes at disease onset. Ideally the disease should be diagnosed before the development of irreversible changes. This is particularly important since early diagnosis can dramatically improve clinical prognosis if treatment is commenced early.

The goal of this project is to identify causal and diagnostic molecular biomarkers that can be used to assist in the diagnosis of AS and to help understand how the disease develops.

The person

A PhD is about learning new skills and learning how to do research. We recognise that students will come to us from different backgrounds in order to learn these new skills. Projects are fundamentally quantitative and computer-based, so evidence of quantitative aptitude is essential. The successful student can expect to gain training in the analysis and interpretation of genome-wide and next generation sequencing data, as well as the analysis of expression, methylation and metabolomics data. The student will also receive training in statistical genetics methodology and bioinformatics.

The candidate will have a 1st Class Honours degree or equivalent in science and should be eligible for an Australian Postgraduate Award (APA) or University of Queensland Research Scholarship (UQRS) or equivalent (for more information, please visit


The base stipend will be at the rate of AUD$24,653 per annum (2013 rate) tax-free for three years with the possibility of a six month extension in approved circumstances. Domestic students will be entitled to a $5000 top-up per annum. Enquiries

Please send enquiries to Professor David Evans ( or Professor Matthew Brown ( Enquiries can be received at any time. Start dates are throughout the year with the University allowing registrations commencing Jan 1, April 1, July 1 or Oct 1 each year.

Please apply at

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