Research themes for MRC DTP StudentshipsThe MultiSci MRC DTP programme will focus on three key, interdisciplinary strategic areas:

Research themes

The Battle Against Infections

Infection research is a major strength at Imperial; our infectious disease community is the biggest in Europe, covering all four major pathogen types and ranging from sub-cellular approaches all the way through to population level research. We are one of the few institutions in the UK to have high containment facilities for a variety of pathogens, with unparalleled expertise to enable research into the cause of serious human infectious diseases. Our interdisciplinary infection research is exemplified by our EPSRC programmes in vaccines research and anti-microbial resistance initiatives, our cross-College response to COVID19, and our range of cross-College Networks and Centres. We have recently created the Institute of Infection, which will consist of a physical hub to co-locate researchers from different disciplines and virtual spokes to integrate and connect Imperial's infection research community. It will also provide a unique environment for PhD training.

Examples of projects within The Battle Against Infections theme:

  • The design and testing of new pre-erythrocytic vaccines against malaria
  • Discovering novel sporozoite antigens as immunological targets of protective vaccination against malaria
  • The contribution of the nucleotide signalling molecule c-di-AMP to beta-lactam resistance in Staphylococcus aureus
  • Characerisation of non-MecA factors contributing to betalactam resistance in clinical Staphylococcus aureus strains
  • Targeting the DNA damage response in antimicrobial resistance
  • New target discovery in inflammation-driven cell death

Examples of Imperial Networks and Centres of Excellence related to The Battle Against Infections theme:

Understanding Disease Mechanisms in Humans

This theme builds on our previous MRC DTP “experimental medicine theme” but moves towards the development and testing of drugs and devices, exploiting our drug discovery network and links with our natural and physical sciences colleagues, as well as other cross-College groups. Students working in this theme will have opportunities to train in gene and cell therapy, as well as tissue engineering and will be supported by and embedded in the Imperial College Advanced Therapies Centre of Excellence and the Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Network. They will also have the opportunity to use our cutting edge clinical phenomics, clinical imaging and clinical genomics facilities funded through the Imperial Biomedical Research Centre (BRC), as well as a dedicated clinical research facility and clinical trials centres, including the Imperial College Trials Unit, to augment experimental trial design and statistical analysis.

Examples of projects within the Understanding Disease Mechanisms in Humans theme:

  • Tissue engineering
  • Advanced diagnostics 
  • Digital Medicine
  • Gene therapy for respiratory diseases
  • Bench-to-bedside development of Advanced Therapeutics
  • Identifying and exploiting microRNAs that drive prostate cancer

Examples of Imperial Networks and Centres of Excellence related to the Understanding Disease Mechanisms in Humans Theme:

Realising the Power of Big Data to Improve Health

At Imperial College we use the power of experimental, clinical, social and environmental data to predict and prevent disease. We utilise the extensive digital and data infrastructure that we have across College (Data Science Institute, School of Public Health, HDRUK London Digital Innovation Hubs) to mine and interrogate data. We work with computer scientists within the recently established UKRI AI4Health CDT, the Business School, as well as local NHS Trusts and Social Care to understand and unpick complex health issues such as multimorbidity, mental health and ageing. Imperial has access to some of the best real-world evidence platforms for health research in the country. The Imperial Clinical Analytics, Research and Evaluation (iCARE) project has developed a high-performance analytics environment hosting de-identified patient data resources from Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust (ICHT) data and the integrated patient record from 2.3 million north west London patients (Whole Systems Integrated Care) to support big data projects, and make provision for 3rd party data for linkage analysis. This infrastructure and resource will support and develop student’s expertise in data handling, integration, machine learning and AI.

Examples of projects within the Realising the Power of Big Data to Improve Health theme:

  • Measuring disease progression using using neurobehavioural biomarkers
  • Use of artificial intelligence applied to routine clinical and administrative healthcare
  • Balancing health and economic welfare in allocating the COVID-19 vaccine within and across countries
  • The return on investment of global malaria elimination
  • Multimorbidity risk prediction
  • Patient journey modelling

Examples of Imperial Networks and Centres of Excellence related to the Realising the Power of Big Data to Improve Health theme: