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A Role for Proteases in Strepococcus Pneumoniae infection, lung inflammation and injury.

Project Description

Streptococcus pneumoniae (StP) is a microorganism significantly associated with pneumonia. Bacterial pneumonia in humans is often accompanied by a pronounced inflammatory response and the recruitment of large numbers of neutrophils to the lung. This neutrophilic response is important for the control of bacterial infection but excessive neutrophilia can also lead to tissue damage in the lung, characterized by disruption of the alveolar barrier, pulmonary edema, and severely compromised lung function.

The release of proteases from cells is associated with lung damage and aberrant tissue remodelling and is a feature of many bacterial lung infections. Proteases are released directly into the extracellular milieu where they are thought to contribute significantly to the inflammation and lung damage mediated by bacterial infection. In this study, we will focus on the role of two key proteases, known to be upregulated by StP in the lungs of affected individuals, and determine if inhibition of one or both proteases ameliorates the pathogenic effects of StP in vivo.

This project represents a significant engagement between academics working at the interface between innate immunity and medicinal chemistry and positive data from this study could lead to significant downstream therapeutic development.


We are looking for graduates who are enthusiastic and strongly motivated to use the most innovative approaches to address key global challenges in infectious diseases, antimicrobial resistance, animal health, climate change and sustainability. Applicants should have a degree in biological sciences or a related discipline.

The minimum academic requirement is an Upper Second Class Honours degree from a UK or ROI HE provider (or qualifications deemed equivalent by the University).

Students wishing to apply to Queen’s University Belfast (and for whom English is not their first language) must be able to demonstrate their proficiency in English in order to benefit fully from their course of study or research. For more information on English Language requirements see

Funding Notes

The studentship will be funded by the Department for the Economy (DfE). Please read the full information on eligibility criteria: View Website

However, there may be flexibility to fund a small number of exceptional International applicants.

General enquiries about the programme may be directed to .


Please visit the School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences, Centre for Experimental Medicine, website for further details about the Centre:

When applying, please choose 'MEDICINE' as your subject area/School.

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