PhD Studentships A Systems Biology Approach to Knee Osteoarthritis: Stratifying Patients into Different Subsets.

Anticipated start date for project: January 2014

Closing Date for applications: 1 October 2013

Information about the project:

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a major joint disease resulting in articular cartilage damage which currently lacks effective treatment. OA was previously considered as a single disease but we now have evidence that cartilage damage, a major feature in knee OA, is driven by different mechanisms in different patients. This is based on recent unpublished work from our lab showing major differences in the expression of type I and II collagen in OA cartilage, which segregated patients into four groups.

In this project we propose to use Systems Biology analysis to experimentally combine data sets and identify criteria to stratify OA patients into different pathogenic subsets. Deep sequencing (RNA-seq) of a range of cartilage samples from OA and non-OA patients will be carried out, and used to construct comprehensive representations of networks/pathways activated in the different groups. The results of the transcriptional analysis will be integrated with external databases, and network analysis techniques will be used to identify key modules and control points, revealing important groups of genes involved in the disease and distinct from healthy tissue. These analyses will allow us to gain a global understanding of the complex molecular interactions/pathways involved across the spectrum of OA cartilage and will facilitate the rational design of new treatments tailored to the requirements of specific patient subgroups.

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Qualifications applicants should have/expected to receive: Minimum 2:1 Bachelors degree in relevant subject.

Amount of funding available and eligibility: Studentship will cover fees and annual stipend of £19,800. Open to UK/EU applicants only.

Contact for further information: Jean-Marc Schwartz

How to apply: To apply for this role please click the ‘Apply’ button below.

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