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project title

The International Childhood Cancer Cohort Consortium (I4C). Is maternal infection in pregnancy associated with risk of leukemia in the child?


Professor Terry Dwyer

Dr. Jane Hirst

Description of project

This is a consortium of very large childhood birth cohorts which seeks to pool data on one million mothers and babies with a goal of examining for the first time the association between environmental  exposure data measured prospectively, together with biospecimens from cord blood, and childhood cancers.    Currently, data is available on 380,000 subjects and working groups in different locations globally are analysing this to address particular hyoptheses.    The opportunity for a DPhil student is to contribute to the pooling of further data from new cohorts and to analyse the data in relation to a hypothesis not already being addressed by one of the working groups. There will also be the possibility of undertaking hypothesis-free analysis of the questionnaire, omics, and cancer occurrence data to generate new hypotheses about aetiology.    The engagement will be with global cohorts and teams in more than ten countries.

Training opportunities

Epidemiological methods experience will be gained in the conduct of large cohort studies, and in the pooling and analysis of such data. In addition, there will be the possibility to participate in the analysis of data from various ‘omics analyses’ including genomics, epigenomics, and metabolomics in conjunction with the environmental exposure data.    Visits to key cohorts in several countries will be required, but not on a frequent basis.    This project will suit a candidate with some quantitative aptitude, an interest in biological mechanisms, and an ability to work well with a large global team.