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Quantifying the life-cycle of parasites using population genomic data 2

Background

The genetic diversity in parasites such as Leishmania, Schistosoma and malaria seems to violate the standard rules of molecular evolution ( Chang et al 2013). Population geneticists are beginning to understand these patterns: they may reflect population bottlenecks and rapid clonal growth of parasites after each episode of infection (of both host and vectors). The challenge now is interpreting these patterns (e.g. the allele frequency spectrum of synonymous and non-synonymous polymorphisms) to infer key attributes of parasite biology and epidemiology.

This new type of genetic analysis exploits the advances in sequencing and genome assembly, which generate genome-wide data from multiple individuals. The project will involve analysis of the latest data from the Parasite Genomics Group at the Sanger Institute on genetic diversity (e.g. hundreds of Leishmania isolates).

Eligibility and applying

Funding through China Scholarship Council

  • Eligibility

The successful candidate will have an appetite for computational work in bioinformatics and population genetics.

Applicants should be Chinese nationals and are required to have at least an upper second class degree and a masters degree in a related discipline (e.g. Biology, Genetics, Ecology, perhaps Statistics or Bioinformatics) from a top university anywhere in the world.

International students are required to provide evidence of their proficiency in English language skills. See our entry requirements page for more information.

  • Applying

Applications for 2015 entry have now closed. To express your interest in this project for 2016 please contact Prof. Nichols: r.a.nichols@qmul.ac.uk

If he agrees to take your application further and are successful you will be given an offer on the condition that you are given a funding award from the China Scholarship Council. When you have received a conditional offer, apply directly to the China Scholarship Council.

Funding through Ciência sem Fronteiras

  • Eligibility

The successful candidate will have an appetite for computational work in bioinformatics and population genetics.

Applicants must be Brazilian nationals and are required to have at least an upper second class degree and a masters degree in a related discipline (e.g. Biology, Genetics, Ecology, perhaps Statistics or Bioinformatics) from a top university anywhere in the world. For more information visit the Ciência sem Fronteiras eligibility pages.

International students are required to provide evidence of their proficiency in English language skills. See our entry requirements page for more information.

  • Applying

Potential candidates should send an expression of interest to Prof. Nichols: r.a.nichols@qmul.ac.uk

Applications to Queen Mary and Ciência sem Fronteiras are accepted all year round but we encourage you to contact Dr. McElligott as soon as possible.

If you are successful we will give you an offer on the condition that you are given a funding award from Ciência sem Fronteiras. When you have received a conditional offer, apply directly to Ciência sem Fronteiras.

Self-funding

If you are interested in self-funding please contact Dr McElligott by e-mail (a.g.mcelligott@qmul.ac.uk) to discuss your eligibility for this project.

References

  1. Chang et al 2013. Malaria life cycle intensifies both natural selection and random genetic drift PNAS 110: 20129–20134
    10.1073/pnas.1319857110
  2. Rogers et al 2014. Genomic Confirmation of Hybridisation and Recent Inbreeding in a Vector-Isolated Leishmania Population. PLoS Genetics
    plosgenetics.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pgen.1004092.
  3. Depledge et al 2013. Deep Sequencing of Viral Genomes Provides Insight into the Evolution and Pathogenesis of Varicella Zoster Virus and Its Vaccine in Humans. MBE.
    mbe.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2013/11/13/molbev.mst210.full
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