PhD Studentship: PhD Studentship in Population Health Sciences: Developing Machine Learning Models for Integration of Molecular and Clinical Data

Newcastle University
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Job Description

Award summary

100% tuition fees (paid at home rate) and a minimum annual stipend of £19,237 (2024/2025) with support for research costs. International candidates will be required to fund the difference between the home and international fees.


Are you interested in learning how to develop and apply AI methods in cancer research? Then this is an ideal post for you. We are looking for an enthusiastic PhD candidate with strong skills in quantitative subjects and computing to integrate large-scale transcriptomic and clinical datasets to uncover signatures of patient prognosis, biomarkers and potential targets of new drugs. The project will primarily use melanoma datasets but designing AI methods is relevant to all cancers, such as liver cancer where we have collaborations.

Recently adopted drugs such as immunotherapies are revolutionising cancer treatment. However, as they are not effective in all patients they should be tailored to the right patients while work to identify new drug targets and new drugs continues to be warranted. Previous work has highlighted the role of chronic inflammation in modulating immunity. This studentship will integrate and interrogate large richly annotated datasets in two melanoma cohorts

  • to define and characterise the profiles of chronic inflammation
  • to develop AI models integrating molecular and clinical data to devise chronic inflammation signatures
  • to identify key biological pathways and targetable hubs in those signatures

This is an opportunity to work on an interdisciplinary project at the interface between advanced statistics, bioinformatics and cancer immunology. Training will be provided in these areas with possibilities to attend national and international workshops. The student will have the opportunity to interact with and learn from a large community of cancer scientists in international consortia such as Genomel ( You will be part of a thriving Biostatistics Research Group ( and closely networking with Translational and Clinical Research Institute ( and Newcastle Centre for Cancer (

Number of awards: 1

Start date: September 2024

Award duration: Full time four-year PhD

Application closing date: 17th May 2024

Sponsor: Newcastle Cancer Centre, JGW Patterson Foundation

Supervisor: Dr Jérémie Nsengimana


Professor Ruth Plummer


Professor Penny Lovat


Eligibility Criteria


  • At least a 2:1 honours degree or international equivalent in a relevant subject.
  • Computer programming in R, Python or STATA
  • English Language requirements: IELTS 6.5 overall (minimum of 5.5 in all other sub-skills)


  • Masters in AI or Machine learning would be advantageous

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Newcastle University

Newcastle University, situated in Newcastle upon Tyne in North East England, is a renowned public research institution. In addition to its main campus, it extends its academic presence globally with campuses in Singapore and Malaysia. Distinguished as a red brick university, it holds membership in the esteemed Russell Group, which comprises leading research-focused universities in the UK.

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    Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear, England, UK
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