A four-year, fully-funded PhD scholarship open to All applicants:
"Nonlinear dynamics and control of the
electrophysiology of atrial fibrillation"
School of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK
Remark: The University of Glasgow is the fourth-oldest university in the
English-speaking world is ranked amongst the top 100 of the world.
Dr R Simitev (lead, Mathematics),
Dr A Workman (Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences),
Prof A Rankin (Medicine),
Prof M Cartmell (external collaborator, Engineering, Sheffield).
Remark: We are a very interdisciplinary team with a common interest
in atrial electrophysiology.
*) is for a four (4) year period of PhD studies,
*) fully covers all tuition fees,
*) provides a stipend of GBP 13,590 per every year of the project to
sustain the PhD Scholar,
*) provides GBP 3,500 per year for research, travel and conference
Remark: This is a prestigious "Lord Kelvin & Adam Smith Scholarship"
for PhD studies funded by the University of Glasgow. The 4-year
duration is especially generous and will provide ample time for
The scholarship is open to ALL including UK, EU and Overseas
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a common and debilitating cardiac
arrhythmia in which internal electrical properties of the heart are
adversely affected. Clinical treatment is not entirely satisfactory,
partly because the ionic mechanisms underlying AF are incompletely
understood. A wealth of data from clinical and physiological
experiments in single atrial cells exists, and detailed mathematical
models of single-cell atrial electrical excitation are available. The
accuracy of the mathematical models in recent years has become very
impressive, but the price to pay is their complexity, which precludes
any possibility of analytical treatment and reduces the theory to mere
empirical studies based on numerical experimentation. With this in
mind the challenge in the project is to reduce the available detailed
models to a minimally complicated form that is amenable to
mathematical analysis, but at the same time keep them sufficiently
detailed so that they can reproduce as much relevant data as possible
and answer specific questions arising from physiology and clinical
practise. One specific challenge is, for instance, to use
mathematical techniques to devise a robust feedback control algorithm
that can suppress abnormal rhythms such as atrial fibrillation and
then test it in physiological experiments.
The student will also have plenty of opportunity to steer research
in his/her desired direction. This field is full of interesting
related mathematical problems, and there is ample scope to widen one's
view beyond the specific problems around which this PhD is centered.
--Professional development opportunities:
* On the mathematical side, you will gain experience in singular
perturbation methods, asymptotic theory, numerical and computational
methods and mathematical modelling techniques applied to real-life
physical and biological problems.
* On the physiological side, you will learn various
electrophysiological techniques, including voltage-clamping of ion
currents, and current clamping of action potentials, from
enzymatically-isolated human atrial cells, obtained from patients
undergoing cardiac surgery in Glasgow, using sophisticated, advanced
* You will become unique in our team in the ability to link
experimental work and mathematical modelling.
* Upon completion the you will be a Postdoctoral researcher with
broad interdisciplinary education. You will not only be prepared for
an independent scientific career, but will be much sought after by
both academia and industry for the rare combination of
experimental and mathematical skills.
--Requirements for the applicants:
* MSc or a first-class honors degree in Mathematics, Physics, or a
relevant field with a strong quantitative background.
* Interest in Mathematical Biology, Biological Physics, Bioengineering,
* Interest in Biology,
* Interest and affinity to physiological experiments.
* Interest and affinity to numerical modeling and computation.
* Specialization/Experience in Mathematical Biology, Biological
Physics, Bioengineering, Computational Physics.
--How to apply:
*) a current CV,
*) an Academic Transcripts from your University studies,
*) evidence of your knowledge of English (if a non-native speaker),
*) a statement of relevant experience and research interests including
undergraduate and postgraduate project work, dissertations or any
publications you might have written,
*) the names and emails of two referees who can be contacted in case
you are shortlisted for the Scholarship,
Remark: Please, describe your qualifications and experience in
the best possible way. We are interested to hear from you even if you
cannot meet some of our criteria.
--Deadline for application:
Please, sent applications by 2012-07-31.
After this deadline, please inquire if the position is still open.