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  Bowel cancer caused by bacteria

   Department of Biomedical Sciences

  ,  Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

The gut microbiome has a profound effect on health and disease of humans and colorectal cancer (CRC) is one such disease influenced by microorganisms. Several studies have demonstrated that Streptococcus gallolyticus subsps. gallolyticus formerly known as Streptococcus bovis, an opportunistic human pathogen, causes an elevated risk of CRC. In addition to strong clinical correlation, recent studies have demonstrated that the pathogen actively promotes the development of CRC, stimulating proliferation of colon cancer cells and tumour development.

Using a combination of cell and molecular techniques, this project aims to gain deeper understanding of the host-pathogen interaction by addressing the following questions:

·      What effects does Streptococcus gallolyticus subsps. gallolyticus have on established model systems of CRC?

·      Which bacterial factors are responsible for cancer associated changes to host cells?

·      How do factors secreted by the pathogen modulate host cell signalling?

The project requires a Bachelors or Masters degree in a Biomedical Science discipline (e.g. Biochemistry, Cell Biology, Microbiology etc) and laboratory experience, but training will be given in the appropriate experimental techniques.


School of Biological Sciences, University of Reading:

The University of Reading, located west of London, England, provides world-class research education programs. The University’s main Whiteknights Campus is set in 130 hectares of beautiful parkland, a 30-minute train ride to central London and 40 minutes from London Heathrow airport. 

Our School of Biological Sciences conducts high-impact research, tackling current global challenges faced by society and the planet. Our research ranges from understanding and improving human health and combating disease, through to understanding evolutionary processes and uncovering new ways to protect the natural world. In 2020, we moved into a stunning new ~£60 million Health & Life Sciences building. This state-of-the-art facility is purpose-built for science research and teaching. It houses the Cole Museum of Zoology, a café and social spaces.

In the School of Biological Sciences, you will be joining a vibrant community of ~180 PhD students representing ~40 nationalities. Our students publish in high-impact journals, present at international conferences, and organise a range of exciting outreach and public engagement activities.

During your PhD at the University of Reading, you will expand your research knowledge and skills, receiving supervision in one-to-one and small group sessions. You will have access to cutting-edge technology and learn the latest research techniques. We also provide dedicated training in important transferable skills that will support your career aspirations. If English is not your first language, the University's excellent International Study and Language Institute will help you develop your academic English skills.

The University of Reading is a welcoming community for people of all faiths and cultures. We are committed to a healthy work-life balance and will work to ensure that you are supported personally and academically.


Applicants should have a good degree (minimum of a UK Upper Second (2:1) undergraduate degree or equivalent) in Microbiology, Biochemistry, Biomedical Sciences, Biological Sciences, Cell Biology or a strongly-related discipline. Applicants will also need to meet the University’s English Language requirements. We offer a Pre-sessional English programme - International Study and Language Institute at the University of Reading which can help with meeting these requirements.  With a commitment to improving diversity in science and engineering, we encourage applications from under-represented groups.


How to apply:

Submit an application for a PhD in Biomedical Sciences at


Please note:

When you are prompted by the online application system to upload a research proposal, please omit this step but please mention the title of the project.



Further information:



Dr. Simon Clarke, email:

Biological Sciences (4)

Funding Notes

We welcome applications from self-funded students worldwide for this project.
If you are applying to an international funding scheme, we encourage you to get in contact as we may be able to support you in your application.

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