Bioinformatics, Histamine and Pregnancy Outcomes

University of West London

The University of West London is a leading modern university specialising in the education and development of exceptional creative, business and service professionals.

In addition to its regular programme of fee-paying doctorates, UWL offers PhD scholarships, including this one focused on Bioinformatics.

Research rationale

Pre-eclampsia (PE) is one of the top 4 causes of maternal mortality and morbidity, causing up to 15% of maternal deaths worldwide. There is currently no known cure for this complication of human pregnancy. However, there is mounting evidence and pressing need that early detection of elevated maternal histamine levels caused by defective metabolism and subsequent management of the amine levels in PE pregnancies could save lives. Maternal blood histamine is elevated in PE and abnormalities in placental development and functions linked to aetiology of PE have similarities with effects of elevated histamine in other tissues. The main enzymes that synthesise and metabolise histamine during pregnancy are produced by the placenta. Bioinformatic analysis of the human genome have shown that genetic variations in the histamine biosynthetic metabolic enzymes lead to varying levels of the amine.

Research objectives

The objectives of this doctoral project are to:

  • Identify and document the variations in placental histamine biosynthesis and metabolic genes with high and therapeutic potential and,
  • Develop and test a multi-sensory diagnostic intervention for early detection and management of PE.

Research methods

The methodological approach will include bioinformatic analysis of placental genome, longitudinal observations and standardised measurements of maternal bio-physiological health outcomes.

How to apply

To apply for a PhD scholarship with UWL please submit the following documentation to

  • Completed application form application form (word, 608, kb)
  • CV
  • Transcript of your highest qualification
  • Outline research proposal (max. 1,500 words including references) that links to the research area specified above.

PhD scholarships are open to all UK/EU students who qualify and include:

  • MPhil/PhD fee waiver at the Home/EU rate
  • Tax-fee stipend of £15,000 per annum.

Principal supervisors

Obed Brew, Associate Professor Bioinformatics (Genomics), and Lead for Pregnancy, Childbirth and Women’s Health Research, University of West London. Anthony Woodman, Deputy Vice Chancellor and Professor of Translational Medicine.

For informal queries about this role, please contact Obed Brew at or 0208 2094463.

Terms and Conditions apply