Warwick Collaborative Postgraduate Research Scholarship - Precision Diagnostics and Data Analytics of Electronic Health Records Temporal disease trajectories derived from Electronic Health Records (EHR) of high risk patient groups focusing on co-morbidities: identification of blood tests important for signposting journey and improve decision making.

University of Warwick - Medical School Computing Sciences and Coventry & Warwickshire Pathology Service (CWPS)

This PhD studentship provides a unique opportunity for a promising researcher with a statistics/computing sciences background to work with CWPS (a leading NHS Pathology service Provider) in the emerging area of Electronic Health Records (EHR) data analytics to unlock their analytical value and inform data-driven care and delivery of precision medicine. Understanding the conditions and variations that affect outcomes is important for decision-making and delivery of high quality care. There is an urgent need for re-design of the care pathways focusing on new integrated models of health delivery to improve evidence-led medical decision-making, especially for high risk groups of patients such as cancer and mental health patients, exhibiting higher-than-average readmission rates due to high level of co-morbidities.

In this project the student will carry out population-wide analyses across Coventry and Warwickshire of disease correlations, co-morbidities and disease progression with focus on co- morbidities to index diseases (cancer and/or mental health). By including the key factor of time, large-volume health record analysis will focus on frequently observed temporal patterns over the spectrum of pathologies of the entire population covered by CWPS. This data-driven analysis for cancer patients will use a network approach to analyse data covering 10 years of EHR available. The analysis of each group (cancer and mental health) will present a comprehensive set of time dependent, sequential diagnostic correlations condensed from the entire population of Coventry and Warwickshire patients. This set of sequential disease associations, defined as disease trajectories, will uncover time–critical disease associations. Subsequently the student will investigate mathematical properties of co- morbidity networks. Moreover, the dataset will be enriched to include available lab results from blood tests, and the analysis will enable identification of key blood tests important for signposting and predicting co-morbidity journey and improve decision making.

The successful candidate will develop expertise in hierarchical latent variable models that explore potential for individualizing predictions of disease trajectories. By modelling he/she will investigate statistical strength across observations at different resolutions– the population, subpopulation and the individual level. He/she will also explore development of algorithms for learning population and subpopulation parameters offline, and an online procedure for dynamically learning individual-specific parameters. Finally, the student will validate models on the task of predicting types and course of co-morbidities.

The academic supervisors will be Professor Dimitri Grammatopoulos, Professor of Molecular Medicine, WMS and Consultant in Clinical Biochemistry, UHCW NHS Trust and Dr Theo Damoulas, Computing Sciences, University of Warwick with support from Dr Neil Anderson, Clinical Director of Diagnostics , UHCW NHS Trust

Applicants should submit their CV and a personal statement explaining why they are suitable for this PhD studentship to Professor Dimitris Grammatopoulos on e-mail: D.Grammatopoulos@warwick.ac.uk  and also apply for admission to study at the University here by the deadline above.

Funding Minimum

The WCPRS PhD studentship is available to Home and EU students who meet Research Council eligibility requirements based on residency. It includes full fees for the successful candidate along with a tax free maintenance allowance for 3.5 years in line with Research Council UK standard stipend (£14,777 for the year 2018/19).

Closing Date

The closing date for applications is 15th of August 2018.  Interviews will be held on 30th August 2018 at the Clinical Science Research Laboratories in University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust. The successful candidate will be expected to start in October 2018.

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Midlands of England