Infectious agents, such as bacteria and viruses, are involved in the development of a variety of human cancers such as cervical, liver, stomach and bladder cancer. We hypothesise that other infectious agents are directly linked to cancer development, but as yet remain unidentified. We have developed an analytic pipeline (SEPATH) that identifies infectious agents in whole genome sequencing data. This pipeline is already in place, working and currently being improved. Through a competitive process we have been awarded access to apply SEPATH to the whole genome sequence data of 40,000 cancer genomes from Genomics England’s 100,000 Genome project. Genomics England’s 100,000 Genome project is a large-scale initiative, backed by the UK government, to sequence samples from 100,000 patients including 40,000 from a range of different cancer types. The aim of this PhD studentship is to run SEPATH on this data and search for new infectious agents associated with cancer in a range of different types. In addition links between cancer aggression and the structure of the microbiome will be examined as well as potentially identifying new bacteria linked to cancer.
This is a bioinformatics/data analysis based PhD. During the PhD you will gain knowledge on how to deal with big data, statistical analyses, machine learning and model building. You will be part of the Cancer Genetics team at the Norwich Medical School, which is an interdisciplinary team comprising a mixture of bioinformaticians and lab-based scientists. We have a broad interest in translational cancer based molecular studies with a particular focus on prostate cancer. Research includes urine based biomarker studies, whole genome sequencing studies, subtype detection studies and bacteria in cancer studies.
Closing Date: 2nd June 2017
Starting Date: October 2017