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Interplay between genetic and environmental factors and risk of cardiovascular disease

Cardiovascular diseases including hypertension, myocardial infarction, heart failure, and stroke are the leading causes of mortality worldwide and are expected to keep rising. Modifiable and non-modifiable risk factors are recognised for cardiovascular diseases. Examples of modifiable risk factors include diet, sedentary lifestyle, and smoking. Sex, age, and genetic factors are among non-modifiable risk factors. Identification of risk factors are important in prevention of cardiovascular disease. For instance, genetic factors can help us classify individuals in population into high risk and low risk groups. We can then target appropriate preventive strategies to these different groups accordingly and decrease burden of cardiovascular diseases. This PhD project aims to investigate interactivity of genetic and environmental factors in cardiovascular diseases. Combination of environmental factors such as dietary intake, physical activity, smoking and alcohol consumption with genetic factors will be analysed in relation to cardiovascular disease occurrence. We will use data from the UK Biobank on 500,000 individuals. This project involves working with human data and learning various skills in epidemiology and statistical analysis. Individuals with MSc degree in fields related to data analysis such as Genomics, Epidemiology, Population Genetics, Statistics, and Bioinformatics or related disciplines and those who are experienced working with big data are encouraged to apply. You will learn techniques such as analysis of interactions using regression models, mendelian randomisation, polygenic models, risk prediction and machine learning. This PhD project will be supervised by Dr Raha Pazoki.

How to apply

If you are interested in applying for the above PhD topic please follow the steps below:

  1. Contact the supervisor by email or phone to discuss your interest and find out if you woold be suitable. Supervisor details can be found on this topic page. The supervisor will guide you in developing the topic-specific research proposal, which will form part of your application.
  2. Click on the 'Apply here' button on this page and you will be taken to the relevant PhD course page, where you can apply using an online application.
  3. Complete the online application indicating your selected supervisor and include the research proposal for the topic you have selected.

Good luck!

This is a self funded topic

Brunel offers a number of funding options to research students that help cover the cost of their tuition fees, contribute to living expenses or both. See more information here

Recently the UK Government made available the Doctoral Student Loans of up to £25,000 for UK and EU students and there is some funding available through the Research Councils. Many of our international students benefit from funding provided by their governments or employers. Brunel alumni enjoy tuition fee discounts of 15%.