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Adaptation of Pseudomonas aeruginosa in people with bronchiectasis during chronic inhaled treatment

School of Pharmacy

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Dr L Sherrard , Dr M Tunney Applications accepted all year round Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

Some individuals with bronchiectasis have respiratory infections with Pseudomonas aeruginosa which may lead to a worse clinical trajectory. It is not clear how P. aeruginosa adapts to persist in the respiratory microenvironment in the setting of long-term antibiotic treatment and how this relates to patient outcomes. As part of a clinical study, sputum samples have been collected from people with bronchiectasis pre- during and post-treatment that targets Pseudomonas aeruginosa respiratory infection.
The aim of this PhD project is to investigate adaptation of P. aeruginosa in response to treatment using a range of in vitro experiments that are reflective of in vivo conditions. The phenotypic changes of P. aeruginosa isolates following treatment, will also be evaluated genotypically to determine mechanisms that are potentially relevant for poorer clinical outcomes. Metagenome data generated from next generation sequencing of sputum samples will be performed to evaluate the temporal dynamics of genes associated with adaptation within the bacterial community. The relationship between P. aeruginosa adaptation and a range of clinical variables and measures of inflammation will be determined.

Funding Notes

Applicants should have a 1st or 2.1 honours degree (or equivalent) in a relevant
subject. Relevant subjects include Pharmacy, Molecular Biology, Pharmaceutical
Sciences, Biochemistry, Biological/Biomedical Sciences, Chemistry, Engineering, or a
closely related discipline. Students who have a 2.2 honours degree and a Master’s
degree may also be considered, but the School reserves the right to shortlist for
interview only those applicants who have demonstrated high academic attainment
to date

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