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Evaluation of natural plant based botanicals as alternative to therapeutic antibiotics

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Awaiting Funding Decision/Possible External Funding
    Awaiting Funding Decision/Possible External Funding

Project Description

It has become widely recognised that antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is one of the biggest health threats that mankind faces encompassing huge health and economic burdens on governments and societies in every region of the globe. Widespread and extensive use of antibiotics in human and veterinary medicine as well as agricultural livestock has been linked to the development and spread of AMR. Antibiotics are used in food animals to prevent infectious diseases likely to have risen under the modern intensive farming conditions. Such practice encourages potential pathogenic microorganisms to evolve and become resistant to many currently therapeutic antibiotics. In addition, AMR can be transmitted horizontally and vertically between animal species, and from animals to humans and the environment. Reducing the unnecessary use of antibiotics and promoting the development of alternatives are among the key recommendations for immediate actions by governments worldwide.

The purpose of the PhD project is to evaluate the antimicrobial property of various indigenous medicinal plants and traditional herbal medicines for their potential application in treatment and/or prevention of infectious diseases in humans and/or animals, as well as providing a safe alternative to antibiotics in agricultural food animals. Evidence-based scientific knowledge will be obtained through in vitro and in vivo experimentations with analytical evaluation of efficacy on a number of health and growth parameters. Research skills to be trained in include conventional and advanced laboratory and analytical techniques across different disciplines of life sciences from microbiology to biochemistry, immunology, molecular biology, phytochemistry, analytical chemistry and biotechnology.

The project will be supervised by Dr Chen Situ of the Institute for Global Food Security/School of Biological Sciences and a second supervisor TBC.

Funding Notes

Funding may become available for a successful UK/EU applicant. For more information, please contact Dr Situ.

Applications for which there is guaranteed national government funding and self-funded applications may also be considered.

Applicants must have, or obtain, a 2:1 UK Honours degree (or equivalent) in a relevant subject.

International students for whom English is not their first language must be able to demonstrate proficiency in English. Evidence of an IELTS* score of 6.0, with not less than 5.5 in any component, or an equivalent qualification is required.

*Taken within last 2 years.

For more information on language requirements see:

How good is research at Queen’s University Belfast in Public Health, Health Services and Primary Care?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 29.60

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

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