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Fully Funded Swansea University PhD Scholarship: Enhancing Cardiomyocyte Dynamic Network Analysis with Machine Learning (ECIDNA-ML)

Swansea University - Computer Science

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Swansea
Funding for: UK Students
Funding amount: Fully Funded
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 11th December 2023
Closes: 26th February 2024

Funding providers: Swansea University's Faculty of Science and Engineering

Subject areas: Computer Science (Machine Learning/Pattern Recognition applied to molecular cardiology) 

Project start date: 

  • 1 April 2024 (Enrolment open from mid–March)
  • 1 July 2024 (Enrolment open from mid-June)

Project description: 

This project represents a new approach to map dynamical interactions in networks of human cardiac cells. Network dyssynchronisation is a fundamental event in the catastrophic breakdown of heart rhythm but we do not know the causative events that lead to the failure of cell-to-cell interactions. Moving beyond vague observational descriptions of network behaviours this project will implement a new system to precisely quantify time-resolved information on cell-to-cell interactions. Our approach involves the development of an innovative methodological framework that employs machine learning (ML) to define the intricate nature of intercellular interactions in such networks. We will utilise large datasets and videos acquired from human cellular networks under a range of experimental conditions designed to stabilise or destabilise functional coupling between cells in the networks. The project will use our expertise in developing tailored algorithms for information extraction, pattern recognition and uncertainty estimation concerning the available clinical data. ML algorithms will enable new predictions and signal extrapolation from image datasets of cellular network behaviour. This new framework will add new knowledge on the spatial and temporal nature of intercellular dyssynchronisation and yield unprecedented insights into cardiomyocyte network dynamics. The outputs of this work will lead to an improved understanding of the early events underpinning the functional decline of heart muscle and will ultimately inform better diagnosis and therapeutic interventions in heart disease. 

Eligibility

Candidates must hold an undergraduate degree at 2.1 level in Computer Science, Mathematics or a closely related discipline, or an appropriate master’s degree with a minimum overall grade at ‘Merit’ (or Non-UK equivalent as defined by Swansea University). If you are eligible to apply for the scholarship (i.e. a student who is eligible to pay the UK rate of tuition fees) but do not hold a UK degree, you can check our comparison entry requirements. Please note that you may need to provide evidence of your English Language proficiency.

Due to funding restrictions, this scholarship is open to applicants eligible to pay tuition fees at the UK rate only, as defined by UKCISA regulations

Additional Funding Information

This scholarship covers the full cost of UK tuition fees and an annual stipend of £18,622.

Additional research expenses will also be available.

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