Below are outlines of potential DPhil (PhD) research opportunities in each of our research groups interested in recruiting students for October 2019 entry. Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact supervisors in advance of application to discuss potential projects or directions for research they may be able to take. This is to ensure that there is a good fit between the student and the lab and is considered an integral part of our admissions process. Applications for funded places through the RDM Scholars Programme are now closed. Some supervisors may still be able to consider applications from students who have alternative means of funding (for example, charitable funding, clinical fellows or applicants with funding from a foreign government or equivalent). Prospective applicants are strongly advised to contact their prospective supervisor in advance of making an application. Please note that any applications received after the main funding deadline will not be assessed until all applications that were received by the deadline have been processed. This may affect supervisor availability. If you are considering making an application after the funding deadline, we advise you to submit your application as soon as possible. This allows more time to complete all admissions processes and makes it easier to find a college place. The latest date you can apply for a place for October 2019 entry in Friday 26 July 2019.
Antoniades Group – Translational cardiovascular research: cross-talk between adipose tissue and the cardiovascular system in humans
We undertake translational research by moving from bench to bedside and vice versa; our main focus is the cross-talk between adipose tissue and the cardiovascular system.
Development of the hematopoietic/ immune system in the embryo
The main focus of our group is the investigation of the molecular mechanisms involved in disease initiation and progression in the myeloid malignancy myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS). We use a variety of techniques, including next-generation sequencing (RNA-seq), induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) technology and CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing, in order to better understand disease pathogenesis and to identify new therapeutic targets and prognostic markers for MDS.
This laboratory studies the role of the innate immune system (monocytes / macrophages) on the progression and regression of atherosclerosis. Recent work (In revision) has shown how diabetes results in epigenetic changes in bone marrow progenitor cells that have important implications for atherosclerosis progression and, indeed, a range of common diseases.
Studying how lymphocytes decide to mount immune responses against, for example, tumours (cancer immunotherapy).
Defining the function of new causal atherosclerosis genes from CAD GWAS loci using in vitro and in vivo models
Studying genetic variation in cardiomyopathy and coronary artery disease across the entire allele frequency spectrum in order to identify causative genes and susceptibility loci.
Design and implementation of synthetic circuits for research and therapeutic applications
The Gene Medicine Research Group is based in the John Radcliffe Hospital and is focused on the development of new gene therapeutics for lung diesases. We use gene therapy and gene editing approaches employing plasmid, lentiviral and AAV platforms for gene delivery in vivo. We are looking for students interested in the translation of new gene therapies to the clinic, including the development of new vectors, and evaluation in animal models of disease.
Diabetes already affects 415 million people worldwide. In the UK, there will be 5M people with type 2 diabetes (T2D) by 2025, accounting for 1 in 30 prescriptions and £25 billion in annual NHS costs. The focus of the Gloyn group is the translation of genetic association signals for type 2 diabetes and glycaemic traits into mechanisms for beta‐cell dysfunction and diabetes.
Using state-of-the-art laboratory and computational approaches to understand how mammalian genes are switched on and off during development and differentiation and how this goes awry in human genetic diseases.
Understanding the underlying causes and mechanistic basis for intrahepatic fat storage to identify ways of preventing and treating fatty liver disease.
Applying a wide range of genomics methods and technologies to understand how gene expression is regulated.
We are focusing on strategies to deliver therapeutics via in vivo delivery of gene transfer vectors to generate ectopic “protein factories” capable of secreting therapeutic proteins into both the lung lumen and the systemic circulation. These approaches aim to provide an increased quality of life and a decreased treatment cost for a range of lung diseases, endocrine diseases and inborn errors of metabolism. The protein factories are established using conventional gene therapy or applying in vivo gene editing to correct defective loci and enable therapeutic protein expression.
Identifying the mechanistic basis for site-specific fat storage to identify new ways of tackling the metabolic consequences of obesity.
Our group has conducted a series of international adjuvant trials of chemotherapy for colorectal cancer (Kerr RS. et al, (2016), Lancet Oncol, 17, 1543 – 1557). In parallel, we have established a biorepository of tissue and constitutional DNA (n=3500) which has allowed us to generate a number of cancer susceptibility SNPs and commercial partners to characterise a prognostic mRNA signature which assists in selection of patients for chemotherapy and evaluation of drug resistance (Orlando G. et al, (2016), Hum Mol Genet, 25, 2349 – 2359).