Modelling immuno-metabolic alterations to characterize disease pathogenesis and progression using single cell and spatial multi 'omic technologies

A 3.5 year fully funded studentship is offered jointly at Micromass Ltd (Waters Corporation) headquarters in conjunction with our laboratory in Immunology & Metabolism at the University of Surrey. This specific project is based on the use of Bioinformatics and mathematic modelling of extensive datasets obtained by Mass-spectrometry based technologies on various clinical and non-clinical cohorts. This project looks at unleashing the power of single-cell and spatial multi ’omic analysis to unravel new signatures of diseases determining health trajectories associated with comorbidities such as cancer or chronic inflammatory diseases. The student will be mainly based at Waters headquarters in Wilmslow, Cheshire.

Start date

1 July 2023


3.5 years

Application deadline

Funding source

This PhD studentship is sponsored by UoS PhD studentship and Waters Corporation.

Funding information

UKRI-aligned stipend (£17,668 pa for 2021-22) and approved University of Surrey fees.


This studentship aims at using and developing bioinformatic and data modelling skills to explore the metabolic and immunological mechanisms involved in disease pathogenesis of multiple diseases such as Cancer. You 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 and our industry partner to decipher the biological and metabolic routes altered in specific pathologies for further exploration in the lab.

The candidate will have a strong knowledge in Bioinformatics, programming and will be familiar with various and latest analysis scripts for high dimensional data analysis. You will also benefit from state-of-the-art platforms and facilities available at the University of Surrey and with our industrial partners. The project will also be benefit from collaboration with international partners.

Knowledge of other programming language such as R or Python will be a great advantage; and the student will get intense training on areas of interests/needs.


Related links

School of Biosciences and Medicine

Eligibility criteria

The candidate will have at least a First or Upper Second-Class Honours degree from the UK (or equivalent qualification from international Institutions) in Bioinformatics but Mathematics or related disciplines will also be considered. Candidates with a Master (or equivalent qualification from international institutions) will be preferred. Data analysis experience is critical and candidates with strong programming expertise in R, python, etc. are strongly encouraged to apply. Basic knowledge of biological processes / Immune system is an advantage.

UK and international students are eligible.

English language requirements

An IELTS Academic of 6.5 or above with 6 in each individual category (or equivalent qualification from other agencies). See more details on English Language requirements.

How to apply

Applications should be submitted via the online application portal for Biosciences and Medicine PhD research course | University of Surrey.

We strongly encourage informal enquiries to be sent to Prof Paul A. Townsend, Dr Olivier NF. Cexus ( and Dr Lee. Gethings ( Please note that applications sent directly to these email addresses cannot be accepted.

Studentship FAQs

Read our studentship FAQs to find out more about applying and funding.

Application deadline


This project will be mainly be undertaken in the facilities of Micromass Ltd (the UK subsidiary of Waters Corp) (Wilmslow, UK) and 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 groups’ expertise.

The project will be based mainly at the Waters headquarters in Wilmslow, Cheshire, UK as well as, when necessary, in the Immunology Labs at the Leggett Building of the Faculty of Health and Medicine Science 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 pan-university people centred institute for “Artificial Intelligence”, our expertise in data science and interactions with our colleagues with bioinformatics analysis enriches the research environment. The project sits in the centre of our lab’s vision of understanding the metabolic changes associated with development and progression of various pathologies such as cancer, autoimmunity, susceptibility to viral infections, and aging.


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