Home Themes


The MRC DTP is organised into four strategic themes (which align to the MRC Strategy and Delivery Plan 2015-2016). The themes are intentionally broad to capture the breath of our research (and infrastructure) and to allow student excellence to be the over-riding selection criterion. The four themes embrace both clinical and non-clincial research, allowing us to offer an exciting and diverse portfolio of research projects.


Theme 1 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


Theme 2 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. Theme 2 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.


Theme 3 has a bench to bedside approach focusing on cardiovascular and respiratory disease, fetal and maternal health, and diabetes and obesity.  Projects have an interdisciplinary ethos and range from studies aimed at linking molecular mechanisms of disease to physiological outcomes, to those exploring the synergies between organ-based physiology disciplines, and include highly translational clinical projects.

A major emphasis of the theme is on how scientific knowledge can to translated to patient benefit hence projects synergize across disciplines often pairing basic cell and molecular biology with physiology, in vivo imaging, computational modelling, medical device and treatment development and biomarker discovery utilising both pre clinical and clinical models.  We welcome graduates from across the entire range of science, technology, engineering and medicine who thrive in a mission based research environment who wish to enhance and utilise their skills to advance healthcare.


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.