Biological Sciences (Functional and Comparative Genomics) MPhil/PhD

Major code: BIMR/BIPR


Each organism, whether animal, plant or microbe, is defined by its genome and this same information can be used by us to investigate wide ranging biological phenomena and even alter biology itself through the production of transgenic organisms.

Subject Overview

Comparative genomics represents the analysis of DNA sequences from different organisms, allowing us to understand how individuals differ or species have diverged.

This approach underpins studies ranging from evolutionary and population biology to the analysis of changes that result in cancer development or the identification of critical genetic factors relevant to personalised medicine.

Functional genomics is the application of DNA sequence data to determine how organisms and specific processes work, whether through the identification of specific genes, monitoring gene expression globally (transcriptomics and proteomics) or facilitating the direct analysis and manipulation of specific genes and proteins.

Our research aims to understand how biological systems are functionally integrated within the context of the whole organism using the most recent advances in genomic and post genomic technologies.

We have a proven track record and leading expertise in the use of Next Generation DNA sequencing (NGS) and bioinformatics, digital and array-based transcriptomics, proteomics, computational modelling, whole organism and cell imaging, conventional physiology and molecular biology and classical genetics.

These are combined to unravel the evolution, physiology, biochemistry and genetics of complex biological systems. Our research programmes include:

  • Genomic analysis of pathogens
  • Environmental microbiology and virology
  • Gene expression, regulation and cell signalling mechanisms
  • Ageing and animal physiology
  • Molecular toxicology
  • Bionanotechnology.

Key Facts

Research partnerships
Our PhD studentships are supported by national and international collaborations, including joint PhD study programmes (e.g. with RIKEN, Japan and A*Star, Singapore).

Our partnerships with Unilever and other companies are making life better for people worldwide, as well as generating significant revenues to add to our £10m p.a. grant funding, primarily from UK research councils, charities and the European Commission.

Why Institute of Integrative Biology?

From blue sky research to global solutions

The Institute is not simply a hive of discovery. We are using our knowledge to solve pressing global issues in fields such as disease prevention, alternative fuel technologies and food security.

Making a difference

From molecule to man, individual to ecosystem, our research programmes – and scientists – are making a difference. Join us on the journey.