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New PhD Studentship Opportunity

16 February 2023

Advanced analytics applied to endoscopic analysis of upper airway function

About the Project

Upper airway obstructions (‘wind problems’) affect the health, welfare and performance of racehorses and are best evaluated by performing endoscopy, however, assessment is subjective, attracting variable agreement. Machine learning approaches are increasingly used in order to improve the prediction of diseases, based on image analysis. In this research project you will develop approaches to the analysis of endoscopy recordings of upper airway function, based around deep learning and advanced statistical approaches, together with the expertise to apply them in a series of studies that demonstrate their value for clinical and research purposes. The clinical and research possibilities extend beyond this PhD and longer-term we anticipate the approaches developed in this PhD being used in clinical assessment of racehorses, during sales and beyond, to provide estimates of risk and more widely within clinical research studies.

You will gain primary research skills in the design, use and application, of deep learning and modelling techniques as they are applied to image analysis, categorisation, non-linear correlation, and statistics. This PhD is suitable for either a veterinary surgeon or non-veterinary surgeon, but there is a requirement for the applicant to have knowledge of computer programming. Specific training related to the machine learning/statistical areas will be provided as needed, together with the racehorse and veterinary aspects, such as endoscopy and upper airway disorders, if a non-veterinary surgeon is appointed (there will be no direct animal work). In addition, there is a vast array of generic and transferable skills training for all post-graduate students through the Bristol Doctoral College.

This project is well suited for PhD training in a novel area of interdisciplinary research, providing the opportunity to explore varied approaches for the application of advanced analysis and forming the basis of a substantial long-term research programme. Based on our Langford campus, the four-year full-time PhD is generously funded by the Horserace Betting Levy Board and is designed to support the development of an individual in an equine oriented career.


Further details and how to apply

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