PhD Studentship The analysis of genes responsible for the progression of Barrett’s esophagus (BE) and esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC)

(full-time 3 years)

Ref: PUPSMD0013

The Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine & Dentistry are seeking to attract PhD candidates of outstanding ability to join their exciting and rapidly expanding programme of internationally-rated research. 

As part of our new developments i.e expanding the Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine & Dentistry and our commitment to research excellence, applications are invited from suitably qualified graduates, 2:1 or above, for a PhD Studentship.  International students must also have score of 7.0 or above (or equivalent qualification).

Barrett’s Esophagus (BE) is a common premalignant lesion and progresses to esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC). The genomics remain largely unexplored. Our group is the largest in the World and we have the most samples with clinic-pathological follow up.

Recently we have identified at least 2 loci for risk of getting Barrett’s oesophagus one in the HLA region on chr. 6 and one related to tissue architecture on chr. 16. One important holistic feature of the report is the discovery of the extent of shared genetic determinants between altered body shape in the form of obesity and BE. These associations, which are shared with cardiac disease, may explain in part the heightened mortality from ischemic heart disease in patients with BE. We believe we have an exciting project for a PhD student namely to continue the replication process of additional SNPs in the predisposition to BE.

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a.  The first part of this project will be testing the top SNPs for association with key sub phenotypes.

b.  Furthermore we plan to follow up this work with the assessment of the SNPs which predispose to EAC

c. Carry out tissue expression analyses in over 10,000 tissue samples already collected in nested cohorts of interest.

In summary we have an exciting project with one paper already in Nature Genetics.

Closing date for applications: 14/09/13 12:00 Noon 

Start date: 01/01/14

To Apply for this studentship please download an application form from

and return it with a statement outlining your reasons for wanting to pursue this course and details of any other achievements or experience that will support your application. Also send copies of your qualifications, transcripts, two academic references and c.v. to:  pupsmd‑ or Bernice Wilmshurst, Senior Administrator (Research Degrees), Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine & Dentistry, The John Bull Building, Tamar Science Park , Plymouth PL6 8BU
Telephone 01752 437471 email:

For an informal discussion about the project, please contact: Prof J Jankowski (email

Funding Notes: The stipend will be £13,726 (based on full time 13/14 rate). Tuition fees will be paid at the home/EU rate. Due to funding restrictions candidates from countries outside the European Union will be liable for the difference between ‘home student fees’ and ‘international student fees’. For the 13/14 academic year the difference in fee is £10,150. If you are selected you will be required to provide financial assurances.

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