3.5-year Computational PhD Studentship: Developing molecular classifier and novel treatment approaches for childhood onset Inflammatory Bowel Diseases

University of Cambridge
January 31, 2023
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3.5-year Computational PhD Studentship: Developing molecular classifier

and novel treatment approaches for childhood onset Inflammatory Bowel Diseases

Applications from prospective students are invited for a fully funded 3.5 year PhD studentship starting in October 2023, under the joint supervision of Dr Matthias Zilbauer, (https: // www. stemcells.cam.ac.uk/people/affiliates/zilbauer, Cambridge Stem Cell Institute, University of Cambridge), Dr Namshik Han (https: // www. bio.cam.ac.uk/staff/namshik-han, Milner Therapeutics Institute, University of Cambridge), Dr Daniel Marks (Executive Medical Director, Early Clinical Immunology, AstraZeneca, Dr Daniele Corridoni and Dr. Tatiana Ort (Immunology Bioscience, AstraZeneca). This PhD program offers the unique opportunity to work at the interface of basic science and clinical medicine aiming to train independent, innovative scientists capable of delivering translational research using cutting edge computational methodologies.

PROJECT : Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD) such as Crohn's Disease (CD) and Ulcerative Colitis (UC) cause chronic, relapsing inflammation of the intestine. In the absence of a cure, patients suffer a lifetime of debilitating symptoms. In spite of the major healthcare burden caused by these conditions and in light of rapidly increasing incidences globally, we urgently need to advance our understanding of disease pathogenesis in order to develop improved treatments. This project aims to develop and apply novel computational methods to existing and newly generated molecular multimodal datasets derived from primary human tissue samples as well as patient-derived intestinal organoids. Specifically, we will develop novel molecular disease classifiers in order to personalise treatment of IBD patients. Furthermore, analyses of cell type specific as well as single cell molecular profiles will allow us to develop novel treatment targets which will then be tested on our patient-derived organoid models to identify the most promising candidates for further development into novel treatments.

CANDIDATE : We are looking for a highly motivated and enthusiastic individual capable of thinking and working independently. The ideal candidate has a strong background in, and exceptional enthusiasm for, computational biology and machine learning, as well as a strong interest in the underlying biological processes and disease mechanisms. We are looking for a person who can work as part of a multi-disciplinary team who has a passion for data driven science. It is expected that the PhD student would spend time in the Zilbauer lab to learn an in-depth working knowledge of the biological and experimental hypotheses, while developing and applying cutting-edge computational approaches in the Han lab to systematically analyse the multimodal datasets. In addition, the PhD student would spend time in the Bioscience Immunology and Early Clinical Development teams (within Early R&I department), based in Cambridge within AstraZeneca's state-of-the-art laboratories, to have access to additional relevant multimodal datasets and to learn about drug discovery, testing and development of novel treatment targets. Further information about the studentship can be obtained from Dr Zilbauer (mz304@cam.ac.uk), Dr Han (nb17@cam.ac.uk) or Dr Daniele Corridoni (daniele.corridoni@astrazeneca.com).

Further information about the institutions and supervisors can be found under: https: // www. stemcells.cam.ac.uk/people/affiliates/zilbauer https: // www. bio.cam.ac.uk/staff/namshik-han/

Applicants should have or shortly expect to obtain a first or upper second- class degree from a UK university, or an equivalent standard from an overseas university, in a relevant subject such as applied mathematics, computer science, genetics or molecular biology.

These positions are open to UK citizens or overseas students who meet the UK residency requirements (home fees) or are able to augment the funds to cover the extra costs associated with international student fees. Full details of the University's entrance requirements are specified on the following link: https:// www. graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/application-process/entry-requirements.

TEAM WORK : The post-holder will join a diverse, supportive and friendly team of scientists, clinicians and other professionals. We place major emphasis on the importance of team work and an enjoyable work environment as a foundation for performing internationally leading translational research.

SUPERVISION : This PhD project provides a unique opportunity to receive training from an experienced group of scientists based in academia (University of Cambridge Stem Cell Institute and Milner Therapeutics Institute) and industry (AstraZeneca). The successful candidate will be enrolled in a stimulating and supportive PhD training programme based in the heart of a world class research environment.

FUNDING : The studentship will cover a student maintenance stipend, tuition fees (at Home fee level only) and a contribution towards project consumables and training.

Owing to funding restrictions, the studentship is only available at 'Home rate' (https: // www. postgraduate.study.cam.ac.uk/finance/fees). Overseas applicants can apply, but will be required to cover the difference between the 'Home' and 'Overseas' fee rate.

TO APPLY : Applicants will need to apply to The University of Cambridge for the 'PhD in Stem Cell Biology' by submitting their application via the University applicant portal at https: // www. postgraduate.study.cam.ac.uk/courses/directory/blscpdscp where you can also find full eligibility and course details.

NOTE: Applicants must specify Dr Matthias Zilbauer and Dr Namshik Han in the 'proposed supervisor' section of the application form. General enquiries to: phd@stemcells.cam.ac.uk

APPLICATION DEADLINE: Tuesday 31st January 2023

Department/Location

Wellcome Trust - Medical Research Council Cambridge Stem Cell Institute

Reference

PS34399

Category

Studentships

Published

26 November 2022

Closing date

31 January 2023

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