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Exploiting subtle divergence in the Cryptosporidia to illuminate the evolution of parastism (Durham)

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  • Full or part time
    Dr PW Denny
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Eukaryotic protozoan parasites cause a range of serious and wide-spread infectious diseases in both humans and domestic animals, which frequently serve as reservoirs for infection. Cryptosporidium species (26 known) are protozoa, related to the malaria parasite (Plasmodium species), which cause severe diarrhoea leading to chronic disease in the immuno-compromised and significant infant mortality in the developing world. Very recently, 300,000 homes were affected when a water treatment works in Lancashire was found to be contaminated with encysted, environmental stable Cryptosporidium oocysts. As its name suggests little is known about the lifestyle of Cryptosporidium and this project seeks exploit some usual variation between species to allow understanding of the interaction of the parasite with its host cell. Using a series of analytical technologies, coupled with cell and evolutionary biology expertise, we will seek to identify ‘weak’ points in the parasite-host relationship which can be targeted for new, much needed, therapies.

For further information see the website:

To apply: Please submit a full CV and covering letter directly to [Email Address Removed]

Funding Notes

This is a 4 year BBSRC studentship under the Newcastle-Liverpool-Durham DTP. The successful applicant will receive research costs, tuition fees and stipend (£14,057 for 2015-16). The PhD will start in September 2016. Applicants should have, or be expecting to receive, a 2.1 Hons degree (or equivalent) in a relevant subject. EU candidates must have been resident in the UK for 3 years in order to receive full support. There are 2 stages to the application process.


Otto T.D., Böhme U., Jackson A.P., Hunt M., Franke-Fayard B. et al., (2014). A comprehensive evaluation of rodent malaria parasite genomes and gene expression. BMC Biology, 12:86.

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