ISMB PhD programme studentship opportunities


PhD studentships at the ISMB are currently available on the following interdisciplinary programmes. PhD studentships are awarded on a competitive basis with applications being considered by a shortlisting and interview panel that is specific to each programme.

Potential applicants may apply for all of the studentship opportunities below but must follow the instructions for applicants described on each of the programme webpages.

BBSRC LIDo PhD studentship with Dr Adrian Shepherd (Biological Sciences, Birkbeck) and James Snowden, UCB:
Antibody repertoire analytics: the development of a visualization toolkit and its application to high-throughput Ig-seq data

Project summary:
Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) of antibodies (Abs) – known as Ig-seq or Rep-seq – is increasingly used to address fundamental immunological questions, such as:
How do immune responses to pathogens, vaccines and therapeutic Abs differ?
And what are the differences between healthy Ab repertoires and those associated with immune dysfunction?

A typical Ig-seq dataset consists of millions of partial mRNA Ab sequences. The aim of this project is to develop a toolkit for visually analysing Ig-seq, enabling biologists to rapidly explore their data, generate novel hypotheses and make new discoveries. The priority will be to support whole Ab repertoire analytics and to characterize fundamental properties (repertoire diversity, Ab convergence within and between repertoires, and the dynamics of repertoire evolution) relevant to vaccine design and therapeutic Ab discovery.
The student on this project will engage in two complementary activities: tool development and immunology research. S/he will benefit from the preliminary work undertaken within the group to evaluate open-source network visualization platforms such as Cytoscape and Gephi, and interactive visualization of Ig-seq data using a Data-Driven Documents (D3) framework. Both activities will be undertaken in close collaboration with our collaborators at UCB, the leading UK company focusing on therapeutic Ab discovery

For full details and how to apply, please visit the LIDo DTP website.

PhD studentship with Drs Marianne Odlyha and Katherine Thompson, Birkbeck: Optimisation of Environmental Control in Museum Collections of Bone and Ivory  

Project summary:
This is the first piece of research to address archaeological bone behaviour to fluctuating relative humidity across the spectrum of bone collections held by English Heritage and to apply acoustic emission to these materials. The applicant will work at the interface between conservation science and physical/biological sciences, whilst being exposed to world-class facilities in the centre of London. For the physical/biological sciences the student will have the opportunity to interact with the Institute of Structural and Molecular Biology (ISMB) (joint Birkbeck/UCL). For conservation science the student will have the opportunity to interact with the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Science and Engineering in Arts, Heritage and Archaeology (SEAHA) at UCL.

Academics: Dr M Odlyha, Dr D Thickett, Dr L Bozec, Dr K Thompson

For full project details and how to apply please refer to the Findaphd listing and Biological Sciences web page.


Additional PhD studentships

These 4-year studentships provide opportunities to join either the Wellcome Trust 4-year Interdisciplinary PhD Programme or the BBSRC funded London Interdisciplinary Doctoral (LIDo) programme in biosciences. You would receive the same training and would be required to follow the assessment milestones for the programme you joined.

  • Applications are now closed.
Wellcome Trust 4-year Interdisciplinary PhD Programme

This outstanding PhD programme in Structural, Computational and Chemical Biology is funded by the Wellcome Trust and provides the opportunity to study at UCL, Birkbeck and Francis Crick Institute.

  • Applications are now closed.
UCL-Birkbeck MRC Doctoral Training Programme

The UCL-Birkbeck MRC Doctoral Training Programme provides state-of-the-art PhD training and exploits the unique research strengths and training infrastructure of UCL and Birkbeck.

There are four strategic themes including the Fundamental Mechanisms of Disease. Each theme supports a cohort of PhD students, PIs and training opportunities.

  • Applications are now closed.
BBSRC funded London Interdisciplinary Doctoral (LIDo) programme in biosciences

BBSRC PhD studentships are available to study within the ISMB at Birkbeck and UCL as part of the LIDo PhD programme.

This interdisciplinary PhD programme provides the mathematical and computational skills necessary to understand and model biological processes and function, while maintaining the training in world-class bioscience that underpins all living systems.

  • Applications are now closed.




Institute of Structural and Molecular Biology, University of London
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