Investigation of sample handling and methods of biomarker detection in large scale research to identify urinary biomarkers for risk of CVD and CKD in Asian and European populations.
The project will establish and develop robust methods to reliably investigate the role of established and novel urinary biomarkers relevant to cardiovascular disease (CVD) in the China Kadoorie Biobank (CKB), a prospective cohort study of 510,000 adults recruited during 2004-8 from 10 diverse regions of China (www.ckbiobank.org).
China has particularly high stroke rates and the rate of ischaemic heart disease (IHD) is rising over the recent decades due to rapid demographic transition and changes in lifestyle. Within China, there are also large unexplained variations in the age-specific rates of stroke and IHD between different regions, suggesting some important causes remain to be discovered. CKD like CVD is also a major public health problem. Of note, people suffering from CKD are more likely to die from CVD than progress to end stage renal disease (ESRD), highlighting the close association between the renal and cardiovascular disease outcomes and shared risk factors for both diseases. Substantial uncertainty remains about the relevance of particular urine factors and their association with CVD and CKD risks and about the relevance of these associations with other exposures.
Research Experience, Research Methods and Training
The project will be centred on laboratory analyses with the general aims:
- To investigate suitability of urine samples collected using a range of methods (including postal and chilled samples) for detection of a range of biomarkers.
- To develop low cost reliable methods of biomarker detection (including NMR metabolomics, multiplex methods) suitable for analysis with disease outcomes in large-scale studies;
- To examine the relationships of established and emerging biomarkers in urine with known risk factors or surrogate measures of CVD and CKD;
The student will work within a multi-disciplinary team and will gain research experience in literature review, study design and planning, epidemiological and statistical methodology, modern laboratory techniques and data analysis. The specific line of investigation will be subject to further discussion and personal research interest. It is expected the study findings will augment other research or instigate novel lines of investigation within CKB.
Field Work, Secondments, Industry Placements and Training
The project will provide a range of training opportunities in modern laboratory methods, statistical analysis and interpretation, and the use of statistical software tools. There will be opportunities to become closely involved in various aspects of laboratory research, or field work in China, depending on the direction and development of the project.
Candidate should have a 2.1 or higher degree in a life science or medical sciences with some laboratory experience. Training in epidemiology, statistics or relevant discipline is desirable.