Fully-funded 4-year PhD studentship in Cardiovascular Genomics - Blizard Institute, Queen Mary University of London (UK)

Fully-funded 4-year PhD studentship in Cardiovascular Genomics available at the Blizard Institute, Queen Mary University of London (UK) in the research group of Dr. Diego Villar

This is an exciting opportunity for a PhD studentship within the supportive learning environment of the Blizard Institute and the wider School of Medicine and Dentistry (SMD) at QMUL. Applications are invited for a fully-funded four-year PhD studentship to support an ambitious student with a strong background in molecular biology and genetics. Applicants should have a good Honours degree in Biochemistry, Molecular Biology or related disciplines (minimum 2(i) or equivalent), experience of conducting research (either experimental or computational) and a strong interest in molecular genetics and genomics. Previous experience with genomic technologies, bioinformatics or animal disease models would be advantageous.

The project aims to improve the mechanistic understanding of atrial fibrillation. Specifically, the student will conduct and integrate genomic experiments across patient samples (from our NIHR BRC) and several models of atrial heart muscle function, with the following objectives:

  1. To measure epigenetic changes in atrial fibrillation patients, associate them with gene expression changes, and computationally identify candidate disease-associated regions.
  2. To interrogate the role of transcription factors genetically linked to the disease in humans, by exploiting an in vitro differentiation model of atrial development and CRISPR/Cas9 epigenetic editing.
  3. To assess the interaction between atrial fibrillation and chronic hypoxia, combining in vitro and in vivo models.

These studies will be conducted in a multi-disciplinary and collaborative learning environment across the QMUL SMD, which includes an excellent training and support network within the Blizard Institute Postgraduate Studies program. Over the course of the studentship there will be ample opportunities for interaction with epigenetics experts (QMUL Epigenetics Hub), cardiovascular geneticists (cosupervisor Prof. Andrew Tinker) and clinical specialists (Prof. García Rio). 

Student stipend will be in the range of £24,000 per year (tax-free). Applications are open for UK and EU students. Start date Spring to Autumn 2020 (to be discussed with individual applicants). Interviews are planned for March 2020. 

Informal enquiries are strongly encouraged and should be addressed to Dr. Diego Villar at d.villarlozano@qmul.ac.uk or on +44 (0) 020 7882 2364.

For more details and to apply:

Deadline for applications is 14th February 2020.