PhD project entitled: Integrative bioinformatics analysis of muscle stem cells and their secreted exosomes for personalized medicine in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and other motor neurondisorders.
Supervisors: Dr William Duddy, Dr Stéphanie Duguez
The objective of this PhD will be to use integrative bioinformatics approaches to distinguish patient sub-groups in motor neuron disorders, and to identify potential mechanisms of pathology. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neuro- and musculo-degenerative disease with life expectancy at diagnosis of only 2-5 years. Clinically it is mimicked by other motor neuron disorders, Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA-IV), and X-linked spinobulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA). Based on our work on muscle secretion and the hypothesis that muscle is implicated in these disorders via the vesicle-mediated secretory pathway, we are leading an international consortium of researchers in the UK/Ireland, France, and the US, to isolate myoblasts from patient muscle biopsies, and to generate omics profiles from these cells and their secreted vesicles, alongside clinical and experimental data.
Initially, the student will integrate existing in-house data with selected motor neuron disorder profiles from public data repositories, and with ALS-associated gene lists from curated public resources. A second step will link different molecules within and between datasets, based on known functional associations, such as gene co-expression, protein-protein binding, or shared pathway participation of metabolites and proteins. Using this combined data resource, we will identify multi-molecular network motifs that are associated to a specific disorder or to a sub-group of a disorder - these will be investigated as potential mechanisms underpinning the pathology.
Candidates having familiarity with programming and/or database development are encouraged, as are those with a background in bioinformatics or biostatistics. The project is also open to students from more biology-oriented programs who are interested to move into bioinformatics.
References and additional links For more information on this project, the supervisory team and graduate studies at Ulster, please visit http://www.science.ulster.ac.uk/gradschool/biomedical/
How to apply for this project: http://www.ulster.ac.uk/research-and-innovation/phdresearch-degrees/how-...
Closing date for Applications is 24 February 2017.
The Department for the Economy (DfE) (formerly called Department for Employment and Learning (DEL)) The University has DfE research studentships available for PhD projects. These pay tuition fees and an annual maintenance award of not less than £14,553 per annum. These awards are open to holders of, or those expected to obtain, first or upper second class honours degrees and cover fees at the home rate and, for applicants with UK residence only, a maintenance allowance. Non-UK residents who hold ordinary EU residence may also apply but, if successful, will receive fees only. Applicants should indicate in the appropriate box on their University application form that they wish to apply for a DfE award. The closing date for receipt of applications will be 24 February 2017. Information on terms and conditions for DfE awards, including eligibility, can be found here: DfE Terms and Conditions for 2016/2017
Vice-Chancellor's Research Scholarships (VCRS) A number of University funded VCRS will be available for PhD projects at Ulster. These awards are open to applicants who hold or, expect to obtain, a first or upper second class honours degree. They will cover tuition fees and a maintenance award of not less than £14,553 per annum for three years. Applications are invited from UK, European Union and overseas students. Applicants with up to one year’s current or previous registration for PhD at any institution may be considered for an award subject to the applicant providing evidence of good academic progress, formal release from all IP restrictions and ethical approval (if required). Three-year awards may be allocated to such applicants where they are taking-up a new project at Ulster. Applicants should indicate in the appropriate area on their University application form that they wish to apply for a University Studentship/VCRS award. The closing date for receipt of applications will be 24 February 2017. Information on terms and conditions for VCRS awards, including eligibility, can be found here: VCRS Terms and Conditions for 2016/2017
Job Type: Full-time
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