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Elucidating the pathobiology of Candida albicans

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

Project Description

The Hall lab is interested in understanding the biology and virulence factors of fungal pathogens. Our research largely focuses on the opportunistic fungal pathogen Candida albicans, which causes a range of infections from superficial mucosal infections (i.e. thrush) to life-threatening systemic disease (i.e. candidiasis).

During colonisation of the human host, C. albicans has to respond and adapt to a wide range of environmental factors, which regulate key virulence factors of the pathogen. In addition to host derived environmental signals, C. albicans also responds to communication molecules produced from the microbiota and directly interacts with other commensal and pathogenic microbes. In order to understand how all these factors affect the pathobiology of C. albicans we are interested in several projects including:

• Investigating how adaptation to the host environment affects the structure of the fungal cell wall, and the impact this has on the host-pathogen interaction.
• Elucidating the role of direct cell-cell interactions of C. albicans with the microbiome
• Deciphering the role of C. albicans in regulating antimicrobial susceptibility
• Exploring the impact of microbial communication molecules on the human host

In order to achieve our research goals we use cutting-edge techniques in transcriptomics, zerbrafish larval models, live cell imaging, molecular biology, cell biology, microbiology, immunology and biochemistry. For more details about our research, please contact Dr Rebecca Hall () and visit our website (www.hall-fungal-research.co.uk).

If you are an enthusiastic individual interested in starting a PhD then we would be delighted to hear from you. A background in biological sciences (i.e. microbiology, molecular biology, immunology) would be advantageous, and due to the competitive nature of the studentships, an upper class degree (2:1 or above) together with demonstrable research experience is highly desirable.

If you are an enthusiastic individual interested in starting a PhD then we would be delighted to hear from you. A background in biological sciences (i.e. microbiology, molecular biology, immunology) would be advantageous, and due to the competitive nature of the studentships, an upper class degree (2:1 or above) together with demonstrable research experience is highly desirable.

Please find additional funding text below. For further funding details, please see the ‘Funding’ section.
The School of Biosciences offers a number of UK Research Council (e.g. BBSRC, NERC) PhD studentships each year. Fully funded research council studentships are normally only available to UK nationals (or EU nationals resident in the UK) but part-funded studentships may be available to EU applicants resident outside of the UK. The deadline for applications for research council studentships is 31 January each year.

Each year we also have a number of fully funded Darwin Trust Scholarships. These are provided by the Darwin Trust of Edinburgh and are for non-UK students wishing to undertake a PhD in the general area of Molecular Microbiology. The deadline for this scheme is also 31 January each year.

Funding Notes

All applicants should indicate in their applications how they intend to fund their studies. We have a thriving community of international PhD students and encourage applications at any time from students able to find their own funding or who wish to apply for their own funding (e.g. Commonwealth Scholarship, Islamic Development Bank).

The postgraduate funding database provides further information on funding opportunities available View Website and further information is also available on the School of Biosciences website View Website

References

Hall RA. Adapting to change: interaction of Candida albicans with its environment. (2017) Future Microbiol. doi: 10.2217/fmb-2017-0130

Sherrington S. et al. Adaptation of Candida albicans to environmental pH induces cell wall remodelling and enhances innate immune recognition. (2017) PLoS Pathog 13(5): e1006403

Dixon EF and Hall RA. Noisy neighbourhoods: quorum sensing in fungal–polymicrobial infections (2015) Cell. Micorbiol. 17, 1431-1441

Hall RA Dressed to impress: Impact of environmental adaptation on the C. albicans cell wall. (2015) Mol Microbiol. 2015 Apr 2. doi: 10.1111/mmi.13020

Hall RA, Gow NA. Mannosylation in Candida albicans: role in cell wall function and immune recognition. (2013), Mol. Microbiol. 90, 1147-1161

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

FTE Category A staff submitted: 42.80

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

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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