PhD at Ulster University, UK, in diabetes comorbidity biomarker detection

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    A PhD studentship is available at Ulster University, UK, in the detection and analysis of biomarkers for the comorbidities of diabetes.  This is a joint academic-industrial collaboration and it is intended that the student will spend 50% of their studentship at Ulster University and 50% at Novo Nordisk Research Centre Oxford.  The deadline for applications is the 7th February, 2020 and the studentship will start in September, 2020, though some flexibility may be possible.

    It is estimated that 415 million people worldwide suffer from diabetes which will rise to 642 million by 2040.  Ninety percent of cases are type 2 diabetes (T2D).  Treatment of secondary complications/comorbidities accounts for ~75% of the costs associated with T2D in the NHS.  T2D is associated with hypertension (76%), arthritis (55%), coronary disease (28%), neuropathy (21%) and renal disease (18%); 47% of patients suffer 3 or more comorbidities.

    Comorbid patients are routinely excluded from clinical trials, limiting our understanding of how treatments affect comorbidities.  Comorbid patients commonly receive separate, fragmented treatment for each morbidity, with implications for cost and quality of care.  It is not well understood (i) whether the association between comorbidities is driven by pathophysiological or lifestyle factors and (ii) whether one morbidity is causative of another or whether they share common causes.

    There is a vast potential to grow our understanding of comorbidity and develop diagnostics, prognostics and interventions that can improve the quality of care for comorbid patients.  Here, we will focus on the pathophysiology of comorbidity and establish the relationship between T2D and its key comorbidities.

    Further details of the project can be found at

    Applications must be made through the Ulster University website (

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