PhD Position: Application of semantic web technology for the automated integration of scientific data in the drug discovery process.

PhD Position available in Manchester. Please circulate to any  
potential interested parties.


Application of semantic web technology for the automated integration  
of scientific data in the drug discovery process.
Close date: 30.August.2010
Anticipated start date: 24.September.2010

About the project
The School of Computer Science invites applications from suitably  
qualified students for a fully-funded Industrial CASE studentship.  
This 3.5 year PhD studentship is sponsored jointly by EPSRC and  
Pfizer, and will be supervised by Prof. Carole. A. Goble and Dr  
Robert Stevens (University of Manchester) and Dr. Lee Harland (Pfizer).

There are numerous public and proprietary sources of information  
relating to compounds, targets, genes, pathways and diseases.  
However, the challenge now is how all this information can be  
harnessed by the pharmaceutical industry to discover the next  
generation of medicines for treating illnesses such as Alzheimer's  
disease and cancer.

This studentship will investigate the realistic application of  
semantic web technologies for automating the integration of  
scientific data for use in the drug discovery process. The work will  
address challenges in combining drug discovery pipelines with  
ontological models that capture domain-specific relationships between  
heterogeneous data in the chemical and life sciences. The aim is to  
integrate large amounts of real-world public and proprietary  
information in the pharmaceutical industry to create linked data  
networks for answering scientific questions relating to diseases that  
are posed by scientists during the development of drug compounds. The  
results will be expected to be incorporated into the suite of tools  
for bioinformatics that have been developed at Manchester.

The successful student will work in close collaboration with Pfizer  
and have the opportunity to work at their research facility in  
Sandwich, Kent. The student will benefit from the world-class  
research in semantic web technologies, scientific workflows and  
bioinformatics at the University of Manchester.

You should have, or expect to achieve, a first or upper second class  
Honours degree in computer science. Alternatively you may have an  
Honours degree in a chemical or biological science, and a Master's  
degree in bioinformatics, cheminformatics or computing. In addition,  
candidates should have a working knowledge of the Java programming  
language, whilst experience of semantic web technologies such as RDF  
will be an advantage.

Amount of funding available
Students must be a UK national to meet the requirements for an EPSRC  
award which will cover university fees and provide an annual tax-free  
maintenance stipend of 15,000. Details about EPSRC's eligibility  
requirements are available at

How to Apply
Applications with an up-to-date CV and covering letter including a  
summary as to why you wish to apply for this particular studentship  
and how your interests and experience relate to the project should be  
sent by email to Carole Goble:


Contact for further information
Informal enquires may be addressed to Dr. Peter Li:


Note: Interested applicants are encouraged to apply immediately as  
the position may be filled before the closing date.

Sean Bechhofer
School of Computer Science
University of Manchester

Received on Friday, 6 August 2010 07:49:10 UTC