Research post in Probabilistic graphical models in toxicology

Research post in Probabilistic graphical models in toxicology

Posted by Victoria Nicholl on Fri, 01/02/2013 - 17:28

Applications are invited for an NC3Rs ( funded postdoctoral position to work jointly with Dr Jon Pitchford
(Mathematics/Biology) and Dr James Cussens (Computer Science) on the research project:

Imprecision and importance: Probabilistic graphical models in toxicology

We plan to use advanced computational and statistical methods to investigate how the evaluation process for the safety of new chemicals can be improved.

We will combine simple stochastic models and Bayesian networks to exploit existing data both to identify the key studies necessary for efficient toxicological assessment, and to quantify what levels of imprecision should be tolerated. The outputs will provide a rigorous quantification of the value of each element of existing protocols.

As well as involving interesting mathematical and computational challenges, we aim for our work to have extensive practical impact:
reduction of the number of animals used for testing where our models indicate that sufficient precision can be derived from a smaller battery of tests; refinement of animal testing protocols where our models identify efficiencies through the holistic assimilation of broad-spectrum data; replacement of animal tests where they can be rationally and quantifiably justified early in a given chemical’s testing strategy.

You will hold the equivalent of a PhD in Mathematics (or similar) by the start date. Applicants with backgrounds in Bayesian statistics, stochastic modelling, and computational algorithms are especially encouraged.

For further details and how to apply go to:

For further information and enquiries, please contact Jon Pitchford
( or James Cussens (

This post is available on a fixed-term basis for up to 33 months and will start on or before 1st July 2013, subject to negotiation.

Interviews will take place on 14 and 15 March 2013.

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