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Discovery of novel virulence factors from intracellular bacterial pathogens

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  • Full or part time
    Dr Alan Huett
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Self-Funded PhD Students Only
    Self-Funded PhD Students Only

Project Description

Secreted bacterial effector proteins allow bacterial pathogens to manipulate, subvert and invade host cells to establish and maintain an intracellular niche. Discovery of new effector proteins is challenging since there are few known conserved signal sequences or motifs which are required for effector secretion.

Using a combination of cutting-edge microscopy, cell biology and molecular techniques we will discover and analyse novel bacterial effector proteins from Adherent Invasive Escherichia coli or Chlamydia trachomatis and their roles in infection and disease.

This project will involve cloning of bacterial genes, high-throughput transfection of human cell lines, automated image capture and the analysis of multi-colour images to identify novel bacterial effector proteins. Candidate proteins will then be confirmed as secreted using novel assays developed in our laboratory and their functions elucidated using state-of-the-art molecular and cell biology methods.
These methods and techniques are broadly applicable to many bacterial pathogens and host cell processes, but our current interests focus upon Type 3 and 6 secretion by pathogenic Escherichia coli or Chlamydia trachomatis, and host cell autophagy.

The University of Nottingham is one of the world’s most respected research-intensive universities, ranked 8th in the UK for research power (REF 2014). Students studying in the School of Life Sciences will have the opportunity to thrive in a vibrant, multidisciplinary environment, with expert supervision from leaders in their field, state-of-the-art facilities and strong links with industry. Students are closely monitored in terms of their personal and professional progression throughout their study period and are assigned academic mentors in addition to their supervisory team. The School provides structured training as a fundamental part of postgraduate personal development and our training programme enables students to develop skills across the four domains of the Vitae Researcher Development Framework (RDF). During their studies, students will also have the opportunity to attend and present at conferences around the world. The School puts strong emphasis on the promotion of postgraduate research with a 2-day annual PhD research symposium attended by all students, plus academic staff and invited speakers.

Funding Notes

Home applicants should contact the supervisor to determine the current funding status for this project. EU applicants should visit the Graduate School webpages for information on specific EU scholarships http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/GraduateSchool/index.aspx. International applicants should visit our International Research Scholarships page for information regarding fees and funding at the University http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/studywithus/international-applicants/scholarships-fees-and-finance/index.aspx.

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

FTE Category A staff submitted: 90.86

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

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