PhD Studentship in Computational Biology / Immunology at the University of York

Posted on 27 February 2017

Applications are invited for a 3-year PhD studentship funded by the Hull York Medical School at the University of York

The aim of the project is to employ a systems biology and computational modelling/simulation approach to understand the immunology and the complex biological system of the intestinal tract. Specifically, the successful applicant will use an in silico approach to examine the IL-23 / IL-23 receptor axis in intestinal inflammation with the aim of increasing our understanding of the immunological processes active in the intestinal tract during inflammation. The work will build on a recently developed agent-based model of experimental Helicobacter hepaticus-induced intestinal inflammation. IL-23 and the IL-23 receptor will be incorporated into the in silico model, biological in vivo data will be used for calibration, and the refined in silico model will be used to drive experiments, focusing on exploring the contribution to pathology of IL-23 receptor-positive T lymphocytes.

The successful applicant will join the Hull York Medical School and the Department of Biology (ranked eighth in the UK for overall performance and first for research impact in REF2014) and the Department of Electronic Engineering (87% of its research judged as internationally excellent in REF2014), and will be under the supervision of Dr Marika Kullberg and Prof Jon Timmis at the University of York.   Computational biology is a rapidly growing area of science, and York has a vibrant computational biology research student body, meaning the successful applicant will benefit from interactions with a wide variety of other research students.  Furthermore, the student will benefit from a multidisciplinary research environment incorporating the Centre for Immunology and Infection, the York Computational Immunology Lab, and the York Centre for Complex Systems Analysis.

We are seeking a highly motivated candidate who should have an excellent background (first or high upper second class degree, or master’s degree) in computational biology, computer science, engineering, mathematics, or a related discipline.  Good programming and analytical skills are essential, as is a strong interest in biological problems and biomedical research.  Applicants must possess excellent oral and written communication skills in English, have good documentation skills, and be willing to take initiative.  The studentship covers a tax-free stipend at the standard Research Council rate (£14,553 per annum for 2017/18) and tuition fees at the UK/EU rate.

Informal enquires can be made directly to Dr Marika Kullberg ( or Prof Jon Timmis (

Applications must be submitted to the HYMS Postgraduate Centre via the online application method (see web page). Please follow the link to apply for PhD in Medical Sciences and include a CV, two academic references, and a personal statement of your research interests (max 500 words) and why you are suited for this project.  It is anticipated that interviews for the post will be held on Wednesday 12th April 2017.

Application deadline: 28th March 2017.  Start date: 1st October 2017.