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Four-year BBSRC funded studentship - Protein Pods as a novel, cold chain independent, vaccine delivery platform

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  • Full or part time
    Prof I Goodfellow
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About This PhD Project

Project Description

Four-year BBSRC funded studentship

The Department of Pathology is offering a four-year BBSRC (CASE) funded studentship starting in October 2016 under the supervision of Professor Ian Goodfellow based at Division of Virology at Addenbrooke’s Hospital.

As a supplement to the current stipend funded by BBSRC, the successful candidate will receive expenses, such as the cost of travel and accommodation, incurred as a direct result of attendance at the premises of the industrial partner (in this case Cell Guidance Systems) of £2,400 per annum.

Title of project: Protein Pods as a novel, cold chain independent, vaccine delivery platform

Details of project : The project aims to build on the experience of Cell Guidance Systems (CGS) in the production of a novel protein ‘Pods’ as a potential platform for oral vaccines that do not require a stable cold chain. Protein Pod production uses technology based on the Bombyx mori cypovirus polyhedrin protein to ‘armour’ proteins of interest, leading to their incorporation into stable and highly heat resistant Pods. This technology makes the proteins significantly more robust throughout the manufacturing, storage and utilization stages of their lifecycle. Using two viruses as model systems, norovirus and Ebolavirus, we plan to examine the utility of Pods for the generation of an oral vaccine platform for use in environments where the maintenance of a viable cold-chain is often not possible. Protein pods will be generated and their ability to generate robust neutralising antibody responses in an in vivo model examined.

The successful candidate will have a background in biomedical sciences, preferably with relevant research experience.

The project benefits from complementary research projects in the study of norovirus pathogenesis, one of the key areas of focus within the research group. You will also be part of the University’s Doctoral Training Programme (DTP) and the first six months are spent completing tailored training courses and two laboratory rotations, before progressing to a PhD. An exciting element of the programme is a three month internship to gain experience in a non-academic environment.

The group focuses on the study of virus-host interactions, with particular emphasis on noroviruses, the major cause of acute gastroenteritis. Further information about the group is available at

Please contact Professor Ian Goodfellow for more information ([Email Address Removed]).

UK and EEA Students who have, or are expecting to attain at least an upper second class honours degree (or equivalent) in relevant biological subjects, are invited to apply. The interdisciplinary nature of many of the projects available and the training modules means that we also welcome applications from students with physical science and mathematical backgrounds who are interested in using their skills in addressing biological questions.

To apply please send a CV and cover letter, including the names and contact details of three referees, to Department of Pathology Administration team ([Email Address Removed])

Closing date for applications is 1st February 2016, interviews will be held week commencing 8th February.

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