Sarcoids are one of the most common tumour types to affect donkeys and horses worldwide. The tumours exist in a number of clinical forms and, despite a range of treatment options for this condition, the risk of tumour recurrence remains high (>50% of cases). Sarcoid disease continues to have significant long-term health and welfare implications for affected donkeys and horses. There is currently no means to discriminate between cases of sarcoids that will recur following treatment and those that will resolve, which impacts on effective management of the disease. In addition, the risk factors associated with development, spread and type of sarcoid disease in different animals are not well understood.
In this exciting multidisciplinary collaborative project we will work with The Donkey Sanctuary to identify key factors influencing disease epidemiology, making use of available database records and high resolution monitoring of animal contact, location and pedigree. Importantly, we will focus our monitoring on donkeys after their first surgery for sarcoids to identify risk factors associated with recurrence. This will be combined with molecular identification of genes differentially expressed in recurrent and non-recurrent sarcoids to identify a subset of genes as biomarkers of disease type. It is well established that infection with Bovine Papillomavirus (BPV) is a major factor in sarcoid pathogenesis and the sequencing approach proposed will identify specific changes in host cell (donkey) and viral genes associated with each disease type. Epidemiological and molecular data will be integrated and the ultimate goal is to identify novel risk factors and prognostic markers that can be applied to improve sarcoid management, treatment success and animal welfare at the Donkey Sanctuary and elsewhere.
Graduates with a veterinary degree are eligible to apply for this project, which offers an enhanced stipend of £23,870 (tax free). Funding is available to cover tuition fees for UK/EU applicants. International students would have to cover the difference in cost between home and oversees fees.
The veterinary graduate student will be based at the University of Glasgow Veterinary School and the Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicinebut will spend time at The Donkey Sanctuary, Devon. The student will have access to a wide range of facilities and gain experience in epidemiological, bioinformatic and molecular techniques. The student will be registered for the degree of PhD at the University of Glasgow.
The expected start date is 1 October 2016.
Informal enquiries can be made directly by email to Lubna.Nasir@glasgow.ac.uk at Glasgow University or by calling 0141 330 5731.
Applications should be submitted directly through the Glasgow University's postgraduate research opportunities page of their website.
This advertisement is reproduced from Glasgow University website.