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Developing microRNA treatments for high impact viral infections with limited anti-virals

School of Health and Life Sciences

About the Project

Reference: SHLS20039

Lower respiratory tract infections and diarrhoeal infections are the 2 most common causes of death in low income countries and the 4th and 9th most common causes of death globally, with viral infections making up a significant proportion of these. Despite this, we lack effective and targeted anti-virals for the majority of these infections, with most therapies being only palliative rather than curative.

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are naturally occurring small RNA molecules which control mRNA translation in a targeted fashion. The utilisation of these molecules as treatments has generated interest from various areas of medical research, with clinical trials of microRNA therapies entering first and second phases for a range of conditions such as; heart failure, T-cell lymphoma, glioblastoma and Alport syndrome.

The aim of this project is to identify miRNAs (both human and non-human) which will potentially target viral genes from a range of etiologically significant viruses such as; adenovirus 40, 41, 4 and 7, respiratory syncytial virus, parainfluenza 2 and parainfluenza 3. Expression vectors for candidate miRNAs will be generated and tested in vitro against their target viruses, in addition to examining possible off target and cytotoxic effects.

Candidates are requested to submit a detailed proposal (of a maximum of 2000 words) on the project area as part of the application.

Funding Notes

The successful candidate will be expected to have a Bachelor of Science honours degree in a relevant subject at 2:1 or above
In addition to annual research tuition fees, Research support ('Bench') fees will also be required for this project

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