University of Edinburgh Featured PhD Programmes
University of Dundee Featured PhD Programmes
Norwich Research Park Featured PhD Programmes
University of Warwick Featured PhD Programmes
University of Leeds Featured PhD Programmes

(BBSRC DTP) Exploring the host-microbiome interactions to promote healthy skin function

Project Description

The surface of our skin is an intriguing landscape covered by a diverse population of microorganisms that are collectively known as the cutaneous ‘microbiome’. These microorganisms, the microbiota, are sustained by nutrients that are produced by skin cells whist, at the same time they produce biomolecules that can influence the function of skin; in doing so microbiota affect the health of their host. The interaction between the host and its microbiome is a dynamic state that is influenced by nutrition and plays an important role in maintaining healthy skin function across our lifespan.
This project will study the interactions that occur between skin cells and the cutaneous microbiome aiming to understand the role of nutritional factors that are implicated in maintaining a healthy state. We also plan to focus on examining the impact of this interaction upon the bioactive lipids that are produced by skin cells, as these biomolecules play a fundamental role in maintaining the correct structure and function of the skin barrier.
The experimental design will make use of 3D human skin models, primary skin cells in culture, human skin in organ culture and a clinical study. We will employ state-of-the-art mass spectrometry to analyse the biomolecules that are produced by skin cells and microbiota. We will then use advanced microbiology techniques and specialist assays to assess the bioactivities of selected compounds and key nutrients. All these tools and approaches will allow us to get detailed insights into the host-microbiome interaction.
The project will provide unique interdisciplinary training in biosciences integrating skin biology, lipid biology, microbiology and advanced analytics by mass spectrometry. The student will join a vibrant research environment at the Schools of Health Sciences and Biological Sciences, will work with a team of internationally recognised principle investigators, and will benefit from interacting with a wide network of academic and industrial collaborators. This studentship will be provide a unique multi-disciplinary training at the interface of chemistry-biology-microbiology, and will equip the student with a set of skills valuable for a career in modern academia and pharmaceutical industry.’neill/

Entry Requirements:
Applications are invited from UK/EU nationals only. Applicants must have obtained, or be about to obtain, at least an upper second class honours degree (or equivalent) in a relevant subject.

Funding Notes

This project is to be funded under the BBSRC Doctoral Training Partnership. If you are interested in this project, please make direct contact with the Principal Supervisor to arrange to discuss the project further as soon as possible. You MUST also submit an online application form - full details on how to apply can be found on the BBSRC DTP website View Website

As an equal opportunities institution we welcome applicants from all sections of the community regardless of gender, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation and transgender status. All appointments are made on merit.


1. AC Kendall, SA Murphy, SM Pilkington, F Del Carratore, AL Sunarwidhi, M Kiezel-Tsugunova, P Urquhart, REB Watson, R Breitling, LE Rhodes, A Nicolaou. Dynamics of the skin mediator lipidome in response to dietary omega-3 fatty acid supplementation (2019) FASEB J (in press; doi: 10.1096/fj.201901501R).
2. AC Kendall, MM Koszyczarek, EA Jones, PJ Hart, M Towers, CEM Griffiths, M Morris, A Nicolaou. Lipidomics for translational skin research: a primer for the uninitiated (2018) Exp Dermatol. 27:721-728.
3. H Williams, L Campbell, RA Crompton, G Singh, AJ McBain, SM Cruickshank, MJ Hardman (2018) Microbial host interactions and impaired wound healing in mice and humans: defining a role for BD14 and NOD2. J Invest Dermatol. 138:2264-2274.
4. C El-Chami, IS Haslam, MC Steward, CA O'Neill (2018) Organic osmolytes preserve the function of the developing tight junction in ultraviolet B-irradiated rat epidermal keratinocytes (2018) Sci Rep. 8:5167.
5. AJ McBain, CA O’Neill, A Amezquita , LI Price, K Faust, N Tett, N Segata, JR Swann, AM Smith, B Murphy, M Hoptroff, G James, Y Reddy, A Dasgupta, T Rossi, IL Chapple , WG Wade, J Fernandez-Piquer (2019) Consumer Safety Considerations of Skin and Oral Microbiome Perturbation. Clin Microbiol Rev. doi: 10.1128/CMR.00051-19.

Email Now

Insert previous message below for editing? 
You haven’t included a message. Providing a specific message means universities will take your enquiry more seriously and helps them provide the information you need.
Why not add a message here
* required field
Send a copy to me for my own records.

Your enquiry has been emailed successfully

FindAPhD. Copyright 2005-2019
All rights reserved.