All students

PhD Studentship in cutaneous medicine and systems biology: Biomarker discovery and integration with computational modelling to predict psoriatic plaque resolution in response to UVB therapy

Value of award

100% UK/EU tuition fees and an annual stipend of £14,553.    Successful international candidates will be required to make up the difference between the UK/EU and international fees.

Number of awards


Start date and duration

October 2017 for 3 years.

Application closing date

7 April 2017.


The overall aim of this project is to derive personalised ultraviolet B (UVB) treatment regimes for psoriasis, a chronic and disabling inflammatory skin disease, affecting ~2% of the UK population, that prevents patients from living a normal life.  This studentship will focus on defining biomarkers (in skin and blood) of psoriatic plaque response to UVB phototherapy.  As well as providing insights into mechanisms of plaque resolution, biomarkers will be refined for scalability and clinical utility.  The successful student will integrate computational and multi-dimensional statistical modelling with biomarker analysis to understand what determines individual patient response to therapeutic UVB.  Ultimately this will be applied to optimise the delivery of UVB phototherapy regimes. 

This research is part of a very prestigious Rosetrees Trust interdisciplinary grant recently awarded to Professor Reynolds and Dr Zuliani.  The project team will include a clinical research fellow based in the Institute of Cellular Medicine, another PhD student and a post-doctoral researcher based in the School of Computing Science.  There are also excellent opportunities for interaction with the related MRC stratified medicine programme PSORT, in which both Professor Reynolds and Dr Zuliani are co-investigators.

This studentship provides a unique opportunity to perform interdisciplinary research of the highest calibre and potential impact, within a very active and well-funded group of researchers. Professor Reynolds heads Dermatology research in Newcastle comprising basic scientists and clinicians, and leads the Newcastle component (>£1M) of the PSORT project (£5.1M); Dr Zuliani is member of the Interdisciplinary Computing and Complex Biosystems (ICOS) research group, which consists of 50 individuals conducting cutting-edge research at the interface of computing science and complex biological systems.

Name of supervisor(s)

Institute of Cellular Medicine, Newcastle University.

Eligibility Criteria

You must have, or expect to achieve, at least a 2:1 honours degree or international equivalent, in a subject relating to biomedicine, biological sciences, physiology, systems biology.  A further qualification such as an MSc or MRes is advantageous. 

This award is available to UK/EU and non-EU international applicants. If English is not your first language, you must have IELTS 7 with at least 6.5 in the written component, or equivalent.

How to apply

You must apply through the University’s online postgraduate application system.  To do this please ‘Create a new account’.  Only mandatory fields need to be completed.  However, you will need to include the following information:


For further details, please contact Professor N J Reynolds, Institute of Cellular Medicine.