Exploring the role of secretion systems in beneficial microbiota members (HALL_Q18DTP)
We are looking for a creative and motivated PhD candidate to join a dynamic, multi-disciplinary research team investigating the early life microbiota and host interactions. This position is within Dr Lindsay Hall's lab (http://www.halllab.co.uk) at the Quadram Institute, which will move (mid-2018) into a new interdisciplinary research building at the forefront of a new era in gut microbes, food, and health research (http://quadram.ac.uk), thus providing an excellent platform for a starting scientific career.
Background: Early establishment of beneficial pioneer microbiota members, including Bifidobacterium species, positively influences microbial community composition and host immune development. Thus, understanding the bifidobacterial factors that modulate these dynamics is pivotal for predicting impact on health and developing new therapies.
Microbial-derived secreted compounds and metabolites play a critical role in influencing host and microbe interactions. Recently, a newly defined secretion system; Type 7 secretion system (T7SS), has been described in pathogenic bacteria, where it plays a role in pathogenesis, via secretion of immune-modulatory and anti-bacterial substrates. Interestingly, Bifidobacterium species have homologues of this system, however there are currently no studies exploring the role of T7SS in this beneficial bacterium.
The goal of this PhD studentship is to develop new molecular tools for Bifidobacterium, i.e. innovative CRISPR-Cas9 systems (in collaboration with Prof Hutchings group at the University of East Anglia) and use molecular microbiology techniques, model colon systems (including next generation sequencing and bioinformatics) and cell culture models to probe the role of the T7SS in microbial community development and immune modulation.
This project has been shortlisted for funding by the Norwich Biosciences Doctoral Training Partnership (NRPDTP). Shortlisted applicants will be interviewed as part of the studentship competition. Candidates will be interviewed on either the 9th, 10th or 11th January 2018.
The Norwich Biosciences Doctoral Training Partnership (NRPDTP) offers postgraduates the opportunity to undertake a 4 year research project whilst enhancing professional development and research skills through a comprehensive training programme. You will join a vibrant community of world-leading researchers. All NRPDTP students undertake a three month professional internship (PIPS) during their study. The internship offers exciting and invaluable work experience designed to enhance professional development. Full support and advice will be provided by our Professional Internship team. Students with, or expecting to attain, at least an upper second class honours degree, or equivalent, are invited to apply.
For further information and to apply, please visit our website: http://www.biodtp.norwichresearchpark.ac.uk
Full Studentships cover a stipend (RCUK rate: £14,553pa - 2017/8), research costs and tuition fees at UK/EU rate, and are available to UK and EU students who meet the UK residency requirements.
Students from EU countries who do not meet the UK residency requirements may be eligible for a fees-only award. Students in receipt of a fees-only award will be eligible for a maintenance stipend awarded by the NRPDTP Bioscience Doctoral Scholarships, which when combined will equal a full studentship. To be eligible students must meet the EU residency requirements. Details on eligibility for funding on the BBSRC website: http://www.bbsrc.ac.uk/web/FILES/Guidelines/studentship_eligibility.pdf
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