PhD Studentship in Genetic Epidemiology of Breast Cancer
Breast cancer runs in families and must have a strong genetic basis, but most of the genes that cause the disease have not been discovered. Several important questions about the heritability of breast cancer remain to be answered. How many genes are involved in the disease? Why is the heritability higher at young ages? Does genetics explain why mammographic density is a risk factor? Can genetics improve the clinical prediction of breast cancer risk?
These and other questions can now be answered using large collections of disease subjects and new statistical methods for analysing heritability. You will apply and compare recent methods to gain insights into the genetic architecture of breast cancer. Building on current work in our group, you will estimate parameters of heritability and develop new methods to answer questions such as those above. You will also perform population modelling to explore different explanations of the epidemiological data.
The studentship will be based in the Department of Non-communicable Disease Epidemiology. The project will be supervised by Dr Frank Dudbridge, a world leader in statistical methodology for genetic epidemiology, and Prof Julian Peto, a world leader in cancer epidemiology and breast cancer genetics. Their groups are part of a strong community of statistical geneticists in the Bloomsbury Centre for Genetic Epidemiology and Statistics.
You will have a masters degree (or equivalent training) in statistics, epidemiology or mathematics, awarded at a high grade; you will be keen to learn quickly in a fast moving and competitive field, and will have a strong aptitude for computer programming.
The award is for 3 years from the end of September 2013 and covers full-time fees and a stipend of £15976 per annum. There is some additional funding for conference attendance. The award is only available to those eligible for UK or EU fees. For an informal discussion, contact .