Risk factors for diseases of the prostate in Chinese and UK adults
Diseases of the prostate, including benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH), prostatitis, and prostate cancer are common among men and their incidence increases with age. Lower urinary tract symptoms caused by BPH and other prostatic diseases can affect quality of life and require healthcare utilisation. The causes of BPH are not well understood but hormonal factors, genetics, and lifestyle are associated with risk. There are differences in incidence between Asian and European populations, but the reasons for these differences are poorly understood.
Data from the China Kadoorie Biobank and the UK Biobank will be used. There are detailed demographic and lifestyle data. Advances in proteomics enable quantification of plasma levels of several thousand proteins and integrated analyses of proteomics and genomics in prospective studies have great potential to discover mechanisms implicated in the development of BPH.
RESEARCH EXPERIENCE, RESEARCH METHODS AND TRAINING
The specific aims of this project will be developed according to the candidate’s interests and aptitude but could include:
- to describe the incidence of BPH and other prostate diseases in CKB and UKB
- to investigate the associations of demographic, lifestyle, and genetic factors with risk of BPH and other prostate diseases, and their causal relevance
- to explore, using genetics and proteomics and other blood biomarkers, the biological mechanisms linking proteins with BPH, and their potential as possible novel drug targets.
Students will conduct literature reviews, perform analyses on large-scale datasets and publicly available resources using a range of state-of-the-art analytic methods, and write academic papers for peer-reviewed publications. In doing so they will work closely with a strong interdisciplinary team of researchers with expertise in epidemiology, genetic and molecular epidemiology, statistics and population health.
FIELD WORK, SECONDMENTS, INDUSTRY PLACEMENTS AND TRAINING
Training in statistics, epidemiological methods, programming, and scientific writing will be provided. Attendance at seminars, workshops and courses provided by the Department and University will be encouraged. There will be opportunity to present research work at relevant international/national conferences.
This project will suit someone with an interest in epidemiology. Candidates should have a good first degree and postgraduate training (e.g. MSc) in epidemiology, biomedical science, or a related discipline.