Apply for this fully funded 4 years PhD scholarship to be part of new exciting collaboration between the University of St Andrews and Canon Medical Research Europe.

The project The field of genomics has made huge advances for a number of diseases for which large sample sets (e.g hundreds of thousands) can be achieved. This is not the case for all conditions

including language disorders (e.g. dyslexia, developmental language disorders and stuttering) where only modest size cohorts can be assembled because of the complexity around diagnosis and assessment. In parallel, huge resources of pooled biological information relating to gene interactions and expression are becoming available. Through advanced computational approaches, we will develop novel methods to integrate these valuable functional genomic datasets into gene mapping studies. By making an intelligent use of pooled information, we will reduce the number of tests so that meaningful genetic studies can be carried out on relatively small samples, such as those currently available to study language disorders. However, the tools that we will develop will be applicable to a wide range of diseases.

The project builds on a three-way interdisciplinary partnership. Dr Silvia Paracchini (School of Medicine), Dr Juan Ye (School of Computer Science) at the University of St Andrews are investigating the application of machine learning (ML) methods on genomics data. Dr Ian Poole, principal scientist at Canon Medical Research Europe based in Edinburgh, brings expertise in the development and application of ML approaches in an industrial setting.

Training and funding This project provides a unique training opportunity for the student who, at the end of the PhD, will have the skills to work with large genomic datasets at the interface between medicine, bioinformatics and artificial intelligence (AI). The student will receive training for all scientific areas required by the project and in addition, through internship at Canon, will get exposed to different aspects of research commercialization. The project is funded by Medical Research Scotland for four year, including a competitive salary and fees (at UK/EU rate).

The person Applications are encouraged from graduates with backgrounds in bioinformatics, biology, statistics, mathematics, computer science and related disciplines. The ideal candidate will have an interest in the genomics of human diseases  and an aptitude for computational approaches. Experience of working with genetic data would be highly desirable. A Masters degree in relevant disciplines would be an advantage.

How to apply

Send your CV and a covering letter to Dr. Silvia Paracchini (sp58@st-andrews.ac.uk) as soon as possible before 16th October.