Field: 

  • Genomics
  • Immunology
  • Infectious disease
  • Paediatrics
  • Public health

Location: Translational Research Institute (TRI)

Type of student: Both PhD/MPhil and Volunteer

Type of work: 

  • Literature review
  • Qualitative methods
  • Secondary data analysis
  • Statistical analysis
  • Systematic review

Type-1 diabetes (T1D) is a chronic autoimmune disease that leads to the destruction and dysfunction of the insulin producing beta cells. The clinical presentation of T1D is preceded by a prodromal period that can last from months to years post birth and is characterised by the production of islet autoantibodies or seroconversion, reflecting loss of immune tolerance to beta cells. Over the last decade, significant advances in T1D research have occurred through studying HLA-high risk individuals at familial risk of T1D into cohorts followed from birth, with concomitant exploration of biomarkers associated with preclinical development of autoantibodies and eventual progression to T1D. Our vision is that a better understanding of T1D progression mechanisms can be established by integrating the huge resource of the heterogeneous data that is available from preclinical studies of T1D development. Through successful collaborations, we have access to longitudinal microarray data from German BABYDIET, the US DAISY and Finnish DIPP study cohorts from individuals who are at risk of T1D. Some of these individuals progressed to develop T1D. By using this huge resource of data, we aim to find differentially expressed genes in children at risk of T1D. We also aim to link clinical and gene expression data by developing probabilistic models would predict T1D onset.

Prerequisite skills: Basic Computing skills