Thursday, February 7, 2008

PhD Scholarship in Statistical Genetics/Bioinformatics, QIMR, Brisbane, Australia

Queensland Institute of Medical Research (QIMR), Brisbane, Australia / University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia.
Primary supervisor: Dr Stuart Macgregor
Applications: open until position filled. To apply, send CV to stuart.macgregor[ at ]
Stipend: Fully funded stipend available for ‘home’ applicant (AUS$20K per annum tax free, rising to AUS$25K subject to satisfactory progress). ‘home’ applicant means Australian/New Zealand citizens/permanent residents. International students are still eligible for AUS$20K stipend but may need to pay additional tuition fees – please contact for further details. Reasonable relocation expenses available. Funding is tenable for 3 years.

Title: Statistical and computational methods for gene mapping

The project will focus on statistical and computational methods for locating disease susceptibility genes. This will be based mainly on genome wide association approaches with a particular emphasis on an approach known as DNA pooling. The DNA pooling approach greatly decreases the cost of genome wide association approaches but brings with it a new set of computational and statistical challenges. There will also be scope in the project for work on more general approaches utilising genomewide data, including work on gene expression and related bioinformatics. The project will address a wide range of disease phenotypes and as such can be readily tailored to accommodate the specific interests of the student.

The student will be based in the genetic epidemiology department ( at QIMR, Brisbane. QIMR is one of the largest medical research institutes in the southern hemisphere. The genetic epidemiology department is the single largest grouping at QIMR and employs several internationally renowned researchers in the field.

S. Macgregor, P.M. Visscher, G. Montgomery. 2006. Analysis of pooled DNA samples on high density arrays without prior knowledge of differential hybridization rates. Nucleic Acids Research, 34(7):e55.

S. Macgregor. 2007. Most pooling variation in array based DNA pooling is attributable to array error rather than pool construction error. European Journal of Human Genetics 15: 501-504.

S. Macgregor, Z.Z. Zhao, A. Henders, N.G. Martin, G.W. Montgomery, P.M. Visscher, 2008. Highly cost efficient genome wide association studies using DNA pools and dense SNP arrays, in press, Nucleic Acids Research.

Research Areas: Statistical Genetics, Genetic Epidemiology, Bioinformatics.

Suitable first degree/background: Applicants must hold at least a second class honours degree and/or relevant Masters degree in statistics, biological sciences, mathematics, computer science or a related field. Knowledge of genetics advantageous but not essential. Biological sciences applicants must be able to demonstrate some knowledge of statistics.