Drupad Trivedi


Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Currently for the year 2023/2024 my group has opportunities for one fully funded PhD position and three self-funded PhD positions (with an option for competitive funding where indicated).

Funded project 1. BBSRC DTP (fully funded, 4 years, starting October 2024): Skin microbiome-host metabolome interactions [Deadline 19th Jan 2024]

Details: https://www.findaphd.com/phds/project/bbsrc-dtp-investigating-metabolic-changes-of-human-skin-microbiome-as-a-function-of-human-sebum-composition/?p163407

My lab currently also has three self-funded PhD projects open as listed below. Please see ‘Opportunities’ section for more details about the projects, person specification and how to apply.

Self funded project 1: Wearable sensor development for disease diagnostics

Self funded project 2: Integration of multiomics and clinical data for predictive modelling in diseases

Self funded project 3: NMR method development for characterisation of sebum

Personal profile


Dr Drupad Trivedi is a biomedical scientist fascinated by the ever-evolving analytical chemistry and chemometrics approaches. Every datum has a story to tell, and that's where his research focuses—finding the needle in the haystack and differentiating haystacks to know where the needle may be. His expertise lies in global metabolomics analysis of biological systems combined with data-driven interrogation. 


Currently for the year 2023/2024 my group has opportunities for one fully funded PhD positions and three self-funded PhD positions. 

1. BBSRC DTP (fully funded, 4 years, starting October 2024): Skin microbiome-host metabolome interactions [Deadline 19th Jan 2024]

This project aims to investigate host-microbe interactions using metabolomics approaches. This interdisciplinary study explores changes in microbial metabolism as a response to change in human sebaceous secretions. The project will provide understanding of the changes to the human physiology and their effect on bacterial species that exclusively depend on sebaceous secretions. Our recent work has shown that the composition of sebum secreted on skin changes during diseases viz. Parkinson’s disease, REM-sleep behavioural disorder, COVID-19 as well as tuberculosis. These disease states with varied pathophysiology, alter human metabolism greatly. While many studies have mapped skin microbiomes specific to sebaceous sites, no conclusive research explains changes in microbial metabolism as a response to non-skin-disease-associated changes in sebum. It is paramount that we consider how endogenous metabolic shifts due to diseases can affect these interactions by using an integrative microbiome approach. 

Details: (BBSRC DTP) Investigating metabolic changes of human skin microbiome as a function of human sebum composition at The University of Manchester on FindAPhD.com

My lab currently also has three self-funded PhD projects open. Eligible candidate however, will be supported to make an application for University of Manchester's competitive funding routes:

- President's Doctoral Scholarships

- Dean's Doctoral Scholarships

Self funded project 1: Wearable sensor development for disease diagnostics (eligible for competitive funding - https://www.findaphd.com/phds/project/wearable-sensor-for-non-invasive-measurement-of-sebum-metabolites/?p164426)

Sebum is one of the readily available biofluids, making it a leading candidate for developing non-invasive diagnostic tests. Unknown interactions between the skin microbiota and host, physiology of sebum and effect of age on skin microbiome standardisation of sebum measurements is difficult​​. For population studies, normalising sebum metabolome to sebum production is essential for developing quantitative biochemical assays. There is no standard method at the moment to perform this normalisation. However, developing an analytical assay for normalisation of sebum production per person that is accurate, robust and cheap will lead to fundamental research in sebum. Certain conditions such as seborrheic dermatitis​, age​​ or hormonal changes​​ may change sebum excretion rates, which may change how metabolites are expressed on the skin. Thus, an accessible method to monitor sebum over an extended period with minimal invasiveness could prove ideal for collecting data on this fundamental measurement. This project will aim to deliver this accessible solution in form of a wearable sensor to measure sebum components. 

Self funded project 2: Integration of multiomics and clinical data for predictive modelling in diseases

Easier, accurate and early diagnosis of diseases require robust biomarkers. Omics approaches that measure proteins, lipids and metabolites in a biofluid are routinely used to discover phenotypic biomarkers of diseases. The most common analytical method used is mass spectrometry (MS). These studies generate big data that are multidimensional and multimodal. This project will develop artificial intelligence (AI) solutions to tackle raw and processed MS data despite its sparsity, heterogeneity and multicollinearity in measurements to uncover patterns within these data. In order to understand relationship between different omes it is common practice to combine these data to build predictive models. The resulting datasets are valuable resources for health research, yet their full utilisation tends to pose major challenges, because of data uncertainty, heterogeneity and incompleteness. Current triage practice in medicine relies on triage based on patient symptoms alone. Using methods such as neural networks, tree methods and probability-based algorithms the project will develop tailored algorithms and workflows for robust feature selection and biomarker discovery from noisy, sparse MS data and clinical data. Application of developed AI solution will be tested on data already available from Parkinson’s disease and lung infection studies conducted at UoM, to develop complimentary diagnostic methods using AI.  

Self funded project 3: NMR method development for characterisation of sebum

Even though the basic makeup of sebum is known due to exposure to the skin microbiome, not much is known about the sebum metabolome. The sebum metabolome comprises the metabolites produced endogenously from the sebaceous glands and the exposome. Excretory products of skin microbiota and carbon consumption from the lipid-rich sebum are also essential components of the sebum metabolome. Exposure to environmental effects, diet and lifestyle could change skin microbiota. The skin pH, sebum secretion, hydration and trans-epidermal water loss are vital in determining the fate of skin microbiota. Skin microbiota homeostasis could be a promising new target in the screening or risk assessment of many diseases.​​ Characterising these unknown species using analytical approaches could lead to a better understanding of host sebum and skin microbiota symbiosis in health and disease. Structural elucidation of metabolites using tandem mass spectrometry approaches often yields accurate identification with high sensitivity. However, for unknown metabolites, it is often difficult to conclude molecular formulae in complex biofluids such as sebum. With techniques such as NMR, accurate and specific structural elucidation can be made possible. 

Who should apply?

Person specification:

  • At least a 2:1 or higher degree in microbiology, chemistry or related discipline. 
  • Good communication and presentation skills.
  • Previous laboratory experience using related techniques.
  • Understanding of the importance of statistical analysis for big, complex data.
  • Desired experience using statistical software and familiarity with -omics analysis. 

Training and resources available:

You will be part of the Michael Barber Center for Collaborative Mass Spectrometry, based in the Manchester Institute of Biotechnology at the University of Manchester. The student will join the newly formed Trivedi group focusing on the sebum-based diagnosis of infectious diseases, skin microbiome and translational research through ML and AI.

The student will collaborate with students and post-docs in the area of metabolomics/volatilomics and sebum analysis, as well as be able to establish an interdisciplinary network at MIB. 

There will be opportunities to interact with other institutes at UoM such as Pankhurst Institute, Royce Institute and UoM NMR group depending on project. You will have access to world-class mass spectrometry, NMR facilities at your disposal along with microbiology labs and materials labs depending on the project being undertaken.

How to apply?

If you are interested to join my research group, please email me with your current CV and one A4 page cover letter describing how you are suitable for the project of your choice and your proposed approach for the PhD project.


No funding is available for the self funded project and the student is expected to pay their tuition fees and bench fees. However, exceptional candidates can discuss routes to application for competitive UoM funding schemes.

For BBSRC DTP, a four year studentship is available. For MRC DTP, a four year studentship is available, provided a suitably strong project is co-developed and led by the student. 

Funded opportunities

There may be further opportunities to apply for other fully funded PhDs that start around October 2024 and will be advertised here, on FindAPhD.com and on jobs.ac.uk.

Research interests

Dr Trivedi's research group apply metabolomics and chemometrics to biological systems. The group focuses on monitoring, screening, and diagnosing infectious diseases through understanding molecular dynamics. At the University of Manchester, Dr Trivedi combines his research interests in personalised medicine and biomarker discovery from bio-fluids.

His group is currently working on rapid diagnosis of tuberculosis by using non-invasive sampling and smell-led metabolomics analysis, collaborating with cross-continental clinical research teams. The group also collaborates with global researchers on projects for diagnosing Parkinson's disease, understanding rare tropical diseases, microbial metabolomics for biodegradable plastics and decoding the scent of explosives and prohibited substances.


Dr Trivedi graduated in Biomedical Sciences at Middlesex University in 2008 and immediately followed it up with a PhD in Metabolomics at Middlesex University, London. He completed his doctoral thesis on discovering Down syndrome biomarkers in maternal urine for prenatal chromosomal abnormality screening in 2012. The same year, he worked as a post-doctoral research fellow at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, developing analytical workflows to detect counterfeit malarial drugs. 

Between 2013 and 2020, Dr Trivedi worked with Prof Roy Goodacre and Prof Perdita Barran and provided the analytical lead on multidisciplinary metabolomics projects in cancer and Parkinson's disease at the Manchester Institute of Biotechnology. In 2020, Dr Trivedi was appointed as a Community for Analytical and Measurement Sciences (CAMS) Lecturer at the School of Chemistry at the University of Manchester. Dr Trivedi is Measurement Science Institute Chair for the data analytics thematic area of CAMS, UK.


Dr Trivedi leads the chemometrics unit in MSc Analytical Sciences by distance learning course and the metabolomics and proteomics unit in the MSc Molecular Pathology course as well as MSc Personalised Medicine. He also teaches metabolomics on MSc Precision Oncology and separation sciences for undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy

Bachelor of Science

External positions

Chair in Data Analytics, Community for Analytical Measurement Science (CAMS)

2022 → …

Areas of expertise

  • QD Chemistry
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Chemometrics
  • Chromatography
  • RB Pathology
  • Biomarkers
  • Biomedical Research
  • Disease diagnosis

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Biotechnology
  • Global inequalities
  • Christabel Pankhurst Institute
  • Manchester Institute of Biotechnology


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