Applications are invited for a postgraduate studentship position leading to a PhD in Bioinformatics in the Jeffery Bioinformatics Group with co-supervision by Paul O’Toole located in the Department of Microbiology https://www.ucc.ie/en/microbiology/, and the Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre http://www.ucc.ie/research/apc/content/, University College Cork.
Rheumatoid Arthritis is characterised by an abnormal regulation of the immune system. Why this occurs is unknown. T-cells are known to be important in the pathology of RA, however many questions remain to be answered on their exact function in the pathogenesis of disease as there is a lack of T-cells found in the joints in RA. This work will address the role of the microbial composition and function that contribute to differences in immune associated diseases, including Rheumatoid Arthritis. These functionally important differences may be used to provide early diagnoses of disease or predictors of disease progression.
The project aims to understand the structure of the microbiome in both healthy individuals and those suffering from Rheumatoid Arthritis. It benefits from the experience and data gained in the ELDERMET project on healthy ageing (1, 2) which will provide a unique collection of published and unpublished high throughput datasets that will serve as input into this project. Prof Paul O’Toole will co-supervise the candidate. Prof Paul O’Toole and Dr Ian Jeffery have a history of producing world class high impact publications, putting these two labs at the forefront of research on the microbiome and healthy ageing. This position will be bioinformatics focused and at the end of the PhD, the candidate will have the necessary skills to convert large amounts of data into meaningful biological conclusions. These skills will be generalizable to multiple datasets and data types. The PhD student will work closely with Dr Ian Jeffery in achieving the overall objectives of the project. The PhD will begin in October 2015 but this is negotiable for the right candidate.