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FULLY FUNDED PHD: Listen to your gut: how do gut bacteria communicate with host tissues?

This project is no longer listed on and may not be available.

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  • Full or part time
    Dr A Dobson
    Dr J Cordero
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description


Animals live in intimate association with bacteria (a.k.a. microbiota).

These bacteria, especially those in the gut, are crucial for many critical features of host function throughout the lifecourse, including metabolism and ageing.

Precisely understanding how microbes regulate these traits may allow us to tailor microbiota to improve animal and human health.

This project will take an integrative, molecule-to-organism approach, to identify bacterial genes and functions that regulate host health and physiology.

The majority of important bacteria live in the gut, but they affect the function of many distal tissues, suggesting that bacteria must have ways to communicate with animal tissues at a distance.

This PhD project will investigate how bacteria issue those signals, where in the host they go, and what happens when they get there.

The project will use the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, a powerful model system for the study of host-microbe interactions, metabolism, and ageing.

The goal is to combine genetic tools in both bacteria and fly to understand mechanistically how information from bacterial genomes affects animal lifespan and metabolic function. We will focus in particular on evolutionary conserved signals, since they are likely of broad biological and biomedical relevance.

We are looking for an enthusiastic, curious and motivated student to join our team.

Candidates with skills in molecular biology, cell biology, and genetics are particularly encouraged to apply, but we welcome applications from anyone with the right attitude and interests.

Funding Notes

Funding for 3 years full time study
Funding for UK/EU rate of fees
Stipend rises in line with Research Council’s expectations for minimum stipend each year i.e.
2020-21 £15,245
2021-22 £15,484
2022-23 £15,727

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