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Two funded biomedical Masters by Research studentships: Analysing datasets in disease models of obesity

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Closing date: Wednesday 10th July 2024, 23:59

FUNDING: (September 2024 start - September 2025 finish): 1 year full-time Master by Research studentship (this covers all university tuition fees and research project costs, plus £19,237/year tax free ‘stipend’ for living expenses) in the Department of Biology.
Open to: UK students only, with at least a 2:1 undergraduate degree (and/or equivalent experience) in a relevant subject area, and with widening access eligibility.

We want to recruit two enthusiastic and motivated graduates into our multidisciplinary scientific team to develop new data analysis pipelines to monitor obesity in a mouse disease model. Obesity is a multi-morbidity disease that is usually studied in mice via the collection of single time point measurements of body weight. However, continuous home-cage monitoring of food and water intake before, during, and after weight gain provides an exciting and unique opportunity to revolutionise how we understand this pathology. The students will use a range of bioinformatic techniques in the Python environment to understand how feeding and drinking underpins weight gain and how that relates to disease.

The successful student will analyse large video datasets and be embedded in the Data Science Hub at University of York. This result will indicate, for the first time, how in-cage video monitoring relates to the development of obesity. A great opportunity for anyone interested in bioinformatics, biomedical science, and disease biology.

Your community

The Data Science Hub is part of a bigger Technology Facility at the University of York, encompassing over 30 highly skilled technical staff. Here the student will be supervised by the head of the data hub, Alastair Droop and also receive input from a multidisciplinary team consisting of Jillian Barlow (biomedical scientist, University of York) and Sonia Bains (disease biologist, Mary Lyon Centre, Oxford). The Technology Facility was established in 2002 and is internationally renowned as a leader in data science and three other areas; cytometry and microscopy, genomics, and protein production and mass spectrometry. The Mary Lyon Centre is the UK’s national facility for mouse genetics and the use of mouse models for the study of human disease. All these partners are brought together by the National Mouse Genetics Network, set up to provide the next generation of in vivo tools to understand complex disease, which the successful student would become part of. 

As a student at the University of York you will be supported with a Thesis Advisory Panel to keep you on track with data generation, research questions, and thesis writing. You will be part of an active community of >100 PhD students in the Biology Department, plus >120 postdoctoral scientists and around 30 highly skilled technical staff. 

A focus on technical skill development

The team will support you to learn a number of key technical skills during your MRes. When you first begin with the data team, existing teaching in relevant undergraduate subject modules and training courses will be made available, alongside key research articles, so that you can develop a theoretical understanding. You will then also work in our Technology Facility with experienced technical staff in order to get a practical understanding of the required research skills. This support will create a strong mentorship network as you start to generate your own data. Additionally, there will be opportunities to meet other academics and travel to the Mary Lyon Centre.