In the middle of applying to universities? | SHARE YOUR EXPERIENCE In the middle of applying to universities? | SHARE YOUR EXPERIENCE

Comparative virology – how picornaviruses replicate in cells

   Faculty of Biological Sciences

This project is no longer listed on and may not be available.

Click here to search for PhD studentship opportunities
  Prof N J Stonehouse, Prof D.J. Rowlands, Dr M.R. Herod  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Before the advent of vaccines, infection by poliovirus was the primary cause of disability worldwide. This was in an era before we had detailed molecular and structural information on these viruses, yet many aspects of the viral lifecycle and interactions with host proteins is not understood. By comparing the replication of related viruses, we can start to build a more complete picture of the viral lifecycle that can inform the design of antiviral strategies.

Picornaviruses cause a range of animal and human diseases, some of which are of emerging concern. For example, foot-and-mouth disease virus infects livestock and related human viruses, including EVA71, are associated with paralysis and death, especially in SE Asia. Without effective vaccines, these remain a threat to global health and food security.

From a proteomics screen, we have identified host cell proteins, which interact with RNA structures in the viral genome essential for replication. This project will investigate the function of some of these interactions using assays for virus and replicon replication in the presence of pharmacological inhibitors, siRNA, and CRISPR/Cas9 knockdowns. The mechanism of action will be explored using mutagenesis and super-resolution imaging.


You should hold a first degree equivalent to at least a UK upper-second class honours degree or a MSc degree in a relevant subject.

Applicants whose first language is not English must provide evidence that their English language is sufficient to meet the specific demands of their study. The Faculty of Biological Sciences minimum requirements in IELTS and TOEFL tests are:

  • British Council IELTS - score of 6.0 overall, with no element less than 5.5
  • TOEFL iBT - overall score of 87 with the listening and reading element no less than 20, writing element no less than 21 and the speaking element no less than 22.

How to apply:

To apply for this project applicants should complete an online application form and attach the following documentation to support their application. 

  • a full academic CV
  • degree certificate and transcripts of marks
  • Evidence that you meet the University's minimum English language requirements (if applicable).

To help us identify that you are applying for this studentship please ensure you provide the following information on your application form;

  • Select PhD in Biological Sciences as your programme of study
  • When asked for source of funding please make it clear that you are applying for a "White Rose BBSRC DTP Studentship"
  • Give the full project title and name the supervisors listed in this advert. You can be considered for up to 3 projects in total.

If you have any further queries regarding this opportunity, please contact [Email Address Removed]

Funding Notes

This opportunity is funded by the White Rose BBSRC DTP and will attract an annual tax-free stipend of £17,668 (based on the 2022/23 rate). The award will also cover academic fees. This opportunity is available to UK and International fee rated applicants. Please note that any expenses related to the relocation of international students to the UK (visa, insurance, NHS fees, flights, etc) would be their responsibility and are not covered by this award.

How good is research at University of Leeds in Biological Sciences?

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities
Search Suggestions
Search suggestions

Based on your current searches we recommend the following search filters.

PhD saved successfully
View saved PhDs