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PhD Research Project

Development of nanonoparticle based targeted antimicrobials for the rebalancing of the gut microbiome and treatment of metabolic disorders. (NARBAD_F13ICASE)


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Graduate Programme
Dr A Narbad
No more applications being accepted
Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

The human gastrointestinal tract contain trillions of bacteria that play a critical role in our health. Imbalance or alteration of this complex microbial community (microbiota) is associated with development of inflammatory disorders such as ulcerative colitis, metabolic disorders of diabetes and obesity and infections by pathogens such as Clostridium difficile. Recent evidence also suggest that gut bacteria may even play a role in cognitive behaviour. With the advent of new generation sequencing technologies we can now study in detail the microbial ecology and the association of a particular microbiota with the disease state, However we do not yet have the required tools to alter the microbiota towards a healthy one. The use of diet and antibiotics can alter the composition of the gut bacteria but in a non targeted manner. The aim of this project is to develop oligonucleotide based nanoparticulate antibacterial technologies to target specific groups of gut bacteria to rebalance the microbioatas in affected individuals. We will use in vitro colon models available at IFR to test the effectiveness of these nanoparticles in reducing the levels of specific bacterial species found to be abundant in microbiotas of affected individuals to levels found in healthy persons. Advanced molecular profiling, metagenomics and metabolomics will be used to assess the effect of nanoparticle administration on the composition and metabolic function of the gut microbiota.

The project will be jointly supervised by Dr Arjan Narbad and Dr Melinda Mayer at IFR and by Dr Michael McArthur at Procarta Biosystems. The student will spend minimum of 3 months at the laboratory of the Industrial partner. For further details please contact Dr Arjan Narbad (arjan.narbad@ifr.ac.uk).


Funding Notes:

This 4-year BBSRC funded CASE studentship is available to successful candidates who meet the UK Research Council eligibility criteria including the 3-year UK residency requirements. These requirements are detailed in the BBSRC eligibility guide (found below). In most cases UK/EU nationals who have been ordinarily resident in the UK for 3 years prior to the start of the course are eligible for a full-award. Other EU nationals may qualify for a fees only award. The stipend for 2013/14 will be £13,726per annum + a CASE enhancement of £1,500 pa..

BBSRC Guide to Studentship Eligibility (qualifications and residence criteria): http://www.bbsrc.ac.uk/web/FILES/Guidelines/studentship_eligibility.pdf.



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