PhD Studentship in Computing Science - A Computational Systems Biology Approach to Psoriasis Treatment Rosetrees Trust

Newcastle University

Value of award

100% of UK/EU tuition fees paid and an annual stipend of £14,553  full award . Successful international candidates will be required to make up the difference between the UK/EU fees and international fees.

Number of awards


Start date and duration

October 2017 for 3 years.


The aim of this project is to derive personalised ultraviolet B UVB treatment regimes for psoriasis, a chronic and disabling inflammatory skin disease, affecting ~2% of the UK population, that prevents patients from living a normal life. We will integrate computational and multi-dimensional statistical modelling with biomarker analysis to understand what determines individual patient response to therapeutic UVB. Next, by combining computational modelling with formal verification, we will derive algorithms that compute optimised and individualised UVB treatment protocols. Computational modelling will permit rigorous testing of systematic variations in standard phototherapy protocols, adjusted for individual factors; only verified regimes will progress through to clinical studies.

This research is part of a prestigious Rosetrees Trust grant recently awarded to Prof Reynolds and Dr Zuliani. The project team will comprise another PhD student and a clinical research fellow based in the Institute of Cellular Medicine, and a post-doctoral researcher based in Computing Science. There are also excellent opportunities for interaction with the stratified medicine project PSORT, in which both Prof Reynolds and Dr Zuliani are co-investigators.

This studentship provides a unique opportunity to perform truly interdisciplinary research with the highest impact, within a very active and well-funded group of researchers. Prof Reynolds heads the Dermatology research department in Newcastle comprising basic scientists and clinicians, and leads the Newcastle component >£1 million of the PSORT project £5.1 million . The successful candidate will be based with Dr Zuliani in the School of Computing Science’s ICOS group, which consists of 50 individuals conducting cutting-edge research at the interface of computing science and complex biological systems. In August 2017 the School of Computing Science, including the ICOS group, will move in a new, state-of-the-art, £58 million building in the Science Central campus.


School of Computing Science, Newcastle University.

Name of supervisor s

Dr P Zuliani, School of Computing Science and Professor N J Reynolds, Institute of Cellular Medicine

Eligibility Criteria

The successful candidate has an excellent first degree in, e.g., computer science, mathematics, or physics. Knowledge of biology is not a prerequisite, since the ICOS group and Newcastle University offer plentiful learning opportunities via their own MSc modules, regular research seminars, etc.

This award is available to UK/EU and non-EU international applicants.

How to apply

You must apply through the University’s online postgraduate application system. To do this please ‘Create a new account’.
Only mandatory fields need to be completed.  However, you will need to include the following information:

  • insert the programme code 8050F in the programme of study section
  • select 'PhD Computer Science Computing Science ', as the programme of study
  • insert the studentship code CS057
  • attach covering letter, CV and if English is not your first language a copy of English language qualifications. The covering letter must state title of studentship, quote reference CS057 and describe how your research interests fit with the topic of research project outlined in the advertisement maximum of two pages .
  • please send your covering letter and CV by e-mail to


For further details, please contact Dr P Zuliani,, +44 0 191 208 8064.

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Northern England