Modeling immuno-metabolic alterations in diseases using single cell and spatial multi'omic technologies

A three and a half year, fully-funded studentship is offered in our laboratory in Immunology and Metabolism. This specific project in Bioinformatics looks at unleashing the power of single-cell RNAseq data alongside multi-OMIC metabolic data to unravel the metabolic signatures of immune cells in health and disease.

Start date
1 January 2022
4 years
Application deadline
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Funding source
University of Surrey PhD Studentship
Funding information

UKRI-aligned stipend (£15,609 pa for 2021-22), approved University of Surrey fees and a research budget. 


This studentship aims at exploring the metabolic and immunological mechanisms involved in disease pathogenesis of multiple diseases such as cancer, autoimmunity and viral infections.

The successful candidate will be able to explore multimodal data acquired using various technologies such as single-cell RNAseq, CITE-seq etc; as well as multiple single-cell, spatial and 3D metabolomic data acquired using the latest technologies available such as mass-spectrometry analysis but also deep-immunophenotyping. The candidate will be instrumental in helping the lab to decipher altered metabolic routes altered in specific pathologies for further exploration in the lab.

Eligibility criteria

A first or upper second-class honours degree from the UK (or equivalent qualification from international Institutions) in a relevant subject area.

The successful candidate will have a strong knowledge in R/Rstudio and will be familiar with the various and latest analysis scripts such as Seurat, monocle etc. Knowledge of the immune system and other programming languages such as Python will be a great advantage. Training on areas of interest and needs will be available. 

English Langauge requirements 

An IELTS Academic of 6.5 or above with 6 in each individual category (or equivalent qualification from other agencies). Full details on country-specific entry requirements can be found on the Biosciences and Medicine PhD page

How to apply

Applications should be submitted via the Biosciences and Medicine PhD page on the 'Apply' tab. Please clearly state the studentship title and supervisor on your application.

Please note this project has an alternative start date of 1st October 2022. 

We encourage informal enquiries to be sent to Prof Paul Townsend and/or Dr Olivier Cexus.

Application deadline

Contact details

Enquiries about this studentship are encouraged.

Paul A. Townsend
Olivier NF Cexus

Research group 

This project will be undertaken in the Co-lab formed by the Cell Stress and Apoptosis (Prof Paul A. Townsend) and the Immunology & metabolism (Dr Olivier NF. Cexus) groups, and as such will benefit from both group expertise.

Research facilities

The project will be undertaken in the Immunology Labs at the Dorothy Hodgkin Building of the Faculty of Health and Medicine Sciences at the University of Surrey. The student will have access to various platforms in flow cytometry, Imaging and single cell-sequencing. The student will also benefit from the strong expertise in multi ‘omic analysis within the University and close Industrial collaborators.

The student will also benefit from a newly formed institute in “Artificial Intelligence”, Data Science and colleagues with strong bioinformatic analysis potential. The project sits in the centre of the general lab vision of understanding the metabolic changes associated with development and progression of various pathologies such as cancer, autoimmunity, susceptibility to viral infections, and aging. 


Studentships at Surrey

We have a wide range of studentship opportunities available.