About the Project
Many of the regulatory roles of ISG15 occur inside the cell as it is involved in controlling IFN-I signalling. However, ISG15 is also secreted and functions as a cytokine. The most compelling evidence for this is that ISG15 loss-of-function is also one of the genetic etiologies of Mendelian susceptibility to mycobacterial disease (MSMD), a rare congenital condition associated with predisposition to infections caused by weakly virulent mycobacteria, including the attenuated BCG vaccine. Patients with MSMD are unable to produce a cytokine known as IFN-gamma (IFN-γ) from NK cells and so are unable to mount a proper T cell response to infection. It was later found that secreted ISG15 is required for NK cells to produce IFN-γ (NK cells are innate immune cells and are the major source of IFN-γ). It is also known that secreted ISG15 regulates the expression of several other factors implicated in the immune response to infection (such the chemokine CXCL10); but the molecular details of this are completely unknown.
Based on the hypothesis that ISG15 is a critical link between innate immunity (IFN-I) and the adaptive immune response, this project will address some of the fundamental questions related to how secreted ISG15 shapes our immune response to infection.
This highly focussed project, which has implications for our fundamental understanding of host defence, health and disease, is designed to provide training in molecular virology, recombinant protein purification and characterisation, CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing technologies, cutting-edge proteomics and FACS analyses.
You will be part of a productive and supportive research team that encourages personal development by providing training opportunities beyond the lab.
In order to apply for this position, please follow the application instructions under http://www.eastscotbiodtp.ac.uk/how-apply-0 to obtain the EASTBIO Application form.
Then, submit the EASTBIO application form and your academic transcripts as part of a formal online application- https://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/study/apply/postgraduate/research/
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.
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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