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PhD studentship: Equine Clinical Genomics


University College Dublin


A postgraduate researcher is required to join a Science Foundation Ireland funded research programme in Equine Exercise Genomics. The PI is based in University College Dublin (UCD), Ireland and the student will be placed at UCD and at the School of Biochemistry and Immunology, Trinity College Dublin. The programme stems from the world’s first academic research programme dedicated to understanding genetic contributions to exercise related phenotypes in Thoroughbred racehorses. For more information, see recent publications (Hill EW, 2009-2012) in Genomics, Animal Genetics, Journal of Applied Physiology and Equine Veterinary Journal. A 5-year research programme will use the Thoroughbred horses in training genetic contributions to physiological performance measures.

PhD research project: Recurrent Laryngeal Neuropathy (RLN) is an important laryngeal disorder of the horse and is a major limitation to racing performance. It is believed to be a heritable component yet there has been little progress made in understanding the genetics or the pathophysiology of the disorder, primarily due to the difficulty in accurately characterising and diagnosing the disease. The advent of dynamic respiratory endoscopy systems provides an improved method of airway examination during exercise.

The aim of this project is to determine normal laryngeal anatomical and functional variation in a large, relevant study population, to accurately diagnose RLN cases in the study population, to prospectively monitor affected horses during their racing careers, and determine the effect of maturity on RLN. Accurate and temporal phenotyping will lend new knowledge to the pathological development of the disease. Furthermore, phenotyping RLN in a large longitudinal study will be crucial for understanding the genetic aetiology of a complex, exercise-influenced trait.


Veterinary degree which can be registered with the Veterinary Council of Ireland (www.vci.ie)
First or upper second class Bachelors degree in veterinary medicine
Motivated with a strong focus on research
High level of spoken and written English
Excellent communication and inter-personal skills

Knowledge of the Thoroughbred industry and experience in a equine practice
Good computer skills and a sound knowledge of Microsoft Office
Full clean drivers’ licence
Ability to work effectively as a team
Above-average academic achievement in veterinary school

Further Details

Salary: €18,000 per annum (stipend) and an annual contribution of €5,500 towards fees (non-EU citizens will be required to supplement fees) is available.

If you are interested in this position, please send a curriculum vitae (incl. names of two referees) and a letter of interest to Dr Lisa Katz [E: Lisa.Katz@ucd.ie T: 01-7166214]

Closing Date

30 June 2012