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*EASTBIO* Evaluating the efficacy of combinations of ‘repurposed’ approved drugs with antibiotics as ‘resistance breakers’ to treat infections with multi-drug resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Klebsiella pneumoniae and Escherichia coli.

School of Biology

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About the Project

There is a global requirement to identify novel treatments to combat multidrug-resistant (MDR) Gram-negative bacteria. Incidence of infections caused by these pathogens is rising and effective treatment is problematic resulting in increased morbidity and mortality. Few new treatment options are in the drug ‘pipeline’ so the use of combination treatments with two or more antibiotics is a realistic option. Combinations consisting of multiple antibiotics are employed clinically and have been extensively studied. In contrast, combinations of approved drugs (that are not in the first instance antimicrobial) with antibiotics that could act as ‘resistance breakers’ is under-explored, particularly with in vivo studies. The aim of this research is to employ an invertebrate infection model, Galleria mellonella larvae, to screen the efficacy of a range of ‘repurposed’ approved drugs with existing antibiotics against MDR strains of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Klebsiella pneumoniae and Escherichia coli. The ‘repurposed’ drugs that will be employed have been selected on the basis of a screen of published literature showing evidence of enhanced activity in combinations in vitro. This type of in vivo efficacy screen is only possible because of the use of an invertebrate infection model. Screening for efficacious combinations in mammalian models would not be possible due to ethical constraints and costs. Any efficacious combinations identified by this study would be the subject of further funding applications to assess possible clinical utility.

Application procedure
In order to apply for this position, please follow the application instructions under to obtain the EASTBIO Application form.

Then, submit the EASTBIO application form and your academic transcripts as part of a formal online application-

In the online application form, you will be asked to provide contact details for two academic references. Please ask your referees to use the EASTBIO reference form provided under the link above when preparing their support letter, and to ensure references are provided by the deadline on 6 January 2021.

Funding Notes

This 4 year PhD project is part of a competition funded by EASTBIO BBSRC Doctoral Training Partnership

This opportunity is open to UK and International students and provides funding to cover stipend and UK level tuition. For international candidates, the University of St Andrews will cover the Home-International fee difference. Please refer to UKRI website and Annex B of the UKRI Training Grant Terms and Conditions for full eligibility criteria.

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