The MRC DTP is structured around three major themes, providing a focus for rigorous training relevant to important and challenging research questions: Cells, Molecules and the Basis of Health and Disease; Neuroscience & Mental Health; and Biomedical Engineering & Medical Imaging. These themes engage an extensive supervisor pool drawn from the full breadth of King’s College London’s Health Faculties, and address MRC priorities and major societal challenges, alongside industrial collaboration.

Cells, Molecules and the Basis of Health & Disease

The CM-HD theme brings together multiple disciplines in biosciences and medicine to understand the basis for disease which includes approaches centred in both basic and translational research. Our areas of focus include genetics, epigenetics and bioinformatics, immunology and infection, regenerative medicine including cellular therapies, cellular biology especially as it relates to cancer and biophysics. These areas and the interfaces between them are current strengths and priorities for King’s.

Students will acquire a broad range of core research skills and scientific knowledge based on an interdisciplinary approach to teaching and learning in a strong cohort-based environment. Projects range from primarily experimental laboratory-based research to computational and bioinformatics-based with some combining both. We welcome graduates from the life sciences and related disciplines, as well as computer sciences and informatics and those wishing to combine their skills across disciplines to contribute to research in the healthcare field.

Neuroscience & Mental Health

The NS-MH Theme brings together multiple disciplines across fundamental and clinical neurosciences, psychiatry, and psychology to understand the mechanisms of and interventions for disorders affecting mind and brain. The NS-MH Theme is dedicated to advancing our understanding of the molecular, cellular and functional basis of neurological, neurodevelopmental and psychiatric disorders and the discovery, implementation and evaluation of novel diagnostic tools and therapeutic interventions.

Projects in this theme span developmental, molecular, cellular and systems neuroscience, neuroimaging, bioinformatics, statistical genetics, epidemiology, and experimental and clinical research. Students can join world-leading labs on topics as diverse as sensory disorders (including pain), neurodevelopmental disorders (e.g. Autism, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), neurodegenerative disorders (e.g. Alzheimer’s Disease), experimental medicine in psychiatry (e.g. Psychosis), clinical trials to improve mental health (e.g. Anxiety, Depression, Eating Disorders), quantitative genetics of risk and resilience, data capture from electronic health records, and the social sciences interface with mental health (e.g. environmental effects such as bullying).

Students will have access to cutting edge facilities such as state-of-the-art imaging, cell culture and genome editing facilities. They will acquire a broad range of core research skills and scientific knowledge based on an interdisciplinary approach to teaching and learning in a strong cohort-based environment. Projects span experimental ‘wet’ laboratory-based research, in-person studies with clinical groups, and computational and bioinformatics-based projects exploiting our unparalleled data-sets and cohorts. We welcome graduates from the life sciences and related disciplines, social science, computer sciences and informatics, and those wishing to combine and enhance their skills across disciplines.

Biomedical Engineering & Medical Imaging

This theme focuses on the link between biomedical and physical sciences; particularly chemistry, physics, engineering and computational approaches. Clinical and preclinical (in vivo imaging in animals) functional and molecular imaging (MRI, PET, X-MR and PET-MR) is a major strength, along with computational modelling and biomaterials. Students will gain a highly interdisciplinary set of skills (both learining a wide array of interdisciplinary skills and learning to interact as a member of an interdisciplinary team).

Much of the emphasis is on the development of medical imaging methods (radionuclide imaging/positron emission tomography etc., magnetic resonance imaging, optical imaging, ultrasound etc.), biomedical enginering (devices for imaging and medical intervention) and biomaterials (matrices for cell based therapy etc.) that will ultimately be tranlsated into humans; indeed some of the imaging projects directly involve imaging humans (patients and healthy volunteers). We welcome applications from graduate chemists, physicists, computer scientists, mathematicians, engineers, particular those wanting to combine their expertise with other disciplines and those who want to apply it in the healthcare field.