4 May 2014

Full-TimePhD Studentships in Statistical Genetics, CCACE, University of Edinburgh

Dr. Kristin Nicodemus – Posted by knicodemusEdinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom

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Job Description

We have two PhD projects in Statistical Genetics of Cognition and Cognitive Ageing in the Centre for Cognitive Ageing and Cognitive Epidemiology, University of Edinburgh.

1. Supervisor: Kristin Nicodemus (CCACE member Genetics of Cognitive Ageing group, MVM) and David Porteous (Group leader Genetics of Cognitive Ageing group, MVM).
Title: Polygenic and epistatic contribution of the Repressor Element 1-Silencing Transcription Factor (REST)  pathway on cognitive ageing, mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer disease.
Summary: REST has recently been shown to be upregulated in the prefrontal cortex of ageing humans, is lost in mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and AD, and is associated with cognitive ageing and longevity. Using REST overexpression and knockdown in human neural cells, a recent study identified targets of REST, including genes involved in apoptosis and oxidative stress, which will be used as a pathway to test for enrichment of genes associated with cognitive ageing, MCI and AD. This project will use a new statistical model including polygenic/epistatic components and machine learning to assess the contribution of this pathway to cognitive ageing, MCI and risk for AD in humans. References: Lu T, et al. (2014). Nature 507:448-54. Nicodemus KK, et al. (2014). JAMA Psychiatry [in press].

2. Supervisor: Kristin Nicodemus (CCACE member Genetics of Cognitive Ageing group, MVM) and David Porteous (Group leader Genetics of Cognitive Ageing group, MVM).
Title: Polygenic and epistatic contribution of the Fragile X Mental Retardation Protein (FMRP) pathway on  cognition.
Summary: FMRP modulates translation of proteins influencing synaptic plasticity. FMRP mutations lead to Fragile X syndrome, including developmental disability and autism. Using mRNA-protein interactions identified in mouse brain, a recent study identified targets of FMRP, which will be used as a pathway to test for enrichment of genes associated with cognition. This project will use a new statistical model including polygenic/epistatic components and machine learning to assess the contribution of this pathway to cognition in humans. References: Darnell JC, et al. (2011). Cell 146:247-61. Nicodemus KK, et al. (2014). JAMA Psychiatry [in press].

 

How to Apply

Please see the CCACE website for more details: http://www.ccace.ed.ac.uk/students-training/postgraduates/phd-studentshipsClosing date: 6 June.This is a University of Edinburgh, BBSRC and MRC funded award and will provide an annual stipend for four years (1st year MSc, years 2-4 PhD) of £13,726 per year (subject to confirmation), plus University fees for home students, or fees only for EU students. Non-EU students are not eligible to apply.Informal enquiries and further details can be obtained by emailing Dr. Kristin Nicodemus (nicodemk@tcd.ie).

Job Categories: Researcher/Academic. Job Types: Full-Time.

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