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Early diagnosis of meningitis using multiplex biomarker-based detection (MARINU20CASE)

Project Description

Meningitis is the second largest infectious killer of children in the world. Meningitis is usually caused by a viral or a bacterial infection. Viral meningitis, the most common, is less serious; however, bacterial meningitis can lead to severe health problems if not treated. The symptoms presented by patients infected by bacterial meningitis are very similar to those of many illnesses, which hinders its detection. The current diagnostic test is time-consuming and requires of specialised laboratories, involving the examination of cerebrospinal fluid. This leads, in some cases, to the administration of antibiotics before confirmation of the infection. There is a need for the development of diagnostics tests for the early detection and discrimination of bacterial meningitis that are rapid, simple to perform and that can be deployed at the point-of-care. Addressing this challenge forms the basis of this PhD scholarship. The outcome of this project could set the basis for the development of point-of-care diagnostic tools for other infectious diseases and would limit unnecessary use of antibiotics.

The student will be trained in innovative analytical techniques and in the development of lateral-flow assays for use with real samples. This project involves working in collaboration with Dr Zoe Waller (School of Pharmacy, UEA) and with the industrial partner Iceni Diagnostic Ltd. based at the Norwich Research Park. The project would suit an ambitious individual with a physical sciences background who is looking to work at the chemistry-biology interface.

Project supervisor:

Project sponsor: Norwich Research Park Bioscience Doctoral Training Partnership

Type of programme: PhD

Start date: 1 October 2020

Mode of study: Full-time

Studentship length: 4 years


This CASE project has been shortlisted for funding by the Norwich Biosciences Doctoral Training Partnership (NRPDTP). Shortlisted applicants will be interviewed as part of the studentship competition. Candidates will be interviewed on either the 7th, 8th or 9th January 2020.

The NRPDTP offers postgraduates the opportunity to undertake a 4 year research project whilst enhancing professional development and research skills through a comprehensive training programme. You will join a vibrant community of world-leading researchers. Students with, or expecting to attain, at least an upper second class honours degree, or equivalent, are invited to apply.

For further information and to apply, please visit our website:

Funding Notes

For funding eligibility guidance, please visit our website: View Website. Full Studentships cover a stipend of £16,009pa (2019/0 rate: £15,009pa & £1,000pa CASE stipend), research costs and tuition fees at UK/EU rate and are available to UK and EU students who meet the UK residency requirements.

Students from EU countries who do not meet the UK residency requirements may be eligible for a fees-only award. Students in receipt of a fees-only award will be eligible for a maintenance stipend awarded by the NRPDTP Bioscience Doctoral Scholarships. To be eligible students must meet the EU residency requirements.

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