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FULLY FUNDED - A multi-omics approach to investigate the gut lung axis in paediatric respiratory disease: the role of microbes, viruses and immunity.

   College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences

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  Prof Konstantinos Gerasimidis, Dr Ross Langley, Prof Simon Milling  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project


The interaction between the gut environment and lung health in children is poorly understood. Childhood nutrition can affect risk of development of asthma and atopy, and multiple exposure to early life antibiotics can reduce microbiome diversity in the both the gut and lung. However, the underlying cross-talk between these distinct sites is unclear. The role of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines and gut microbiota composition on the pathophysiology of paediatric respiratory disease is poorly understood, particularly the role of “commensal” viral-host interactions.

The aim of this PhD is to measure the levels of i) pro, anti-inflammatory and regulatory cytokines, ii) immunomodulatory molecules and iii) microbiome/virome composition and metabolites in stools, airway and oral samples, and blood of children with a spectrum of respiratory disease attending for bronchoscopy. These will be compared with children with gastrointestinal disease, or receiving intensive care or attending for routine surgical procedures. 

We aim to identify mediators of respiratory health and disease in these distinct patient cohorts. 

This PhD opportunity is collaboration between academia and clinical colleagues. The eligible candidate should have a 1st class BSc (Hons) or a 2:1 with an MSc in Life, Biological or Nutritional Sciences, and laboratory experience. During the course of the PhD the student will receive training in human immunology, nutrition and microbiology methodologies. There will also be an option for experience in virology. The student will characterise the gut microbiota composition using 16S rRNA sequencing and microbiota functionality using gas and liquid chromatography. Measurements of inflammatory markers and immunophenotyping will be carried out with enzymatic immunoassay techniques, flow cytometry and transcriptomics. 

This fully funded PhD studentship will cover laboratory expenses, Home student tuition fees, and student stipend for 36 months (a further 12 months funding is optional). The student will be jointly supervised by senior academic staff within the University of Glasgow and clinical staff from NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde. 

Please direct any enquiries to the following supervisors:

Prof Konstantinos Gerasimidis - [Email Address Removed]

Dr Ross Langley - [Email Address Removed]

Prof Simon Milling - [Email Address Removed]

Funding Notes

Funded by the Glasgow Children’s Charity. UK student fees are covered. Project start date: 1st January 2023. Stipend for this project from UKRI is £17,668.
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