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FULLY FUNDED PHD PROJECT: NK cells in memory responses to influenza

   College of Medicine, Veterinary and Life Sciences

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  Dr Orhan Rasid, Dr M MacLeod, Dr L Carlin  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

TO APPLY, CLICK 'INSTITUTION WEBSITE' - Also email us your CV with a brief cover letter by clicking 'Email Us'

We are inviting applications from candidates for a PhD student position to work on an exciting project investigating Natural Killer (NK) cell memory in the context of influenza virus infection starting in autumn 2022.

Textbook immunology divides the immune system into innate and adaptive cells. Traditionally, only adaptive cells can acquire immune memory. However, growing evidence suggests that innate cells are also capable of mounting enhanced protective responses during secondary infections. Presently, innate immune memory or “training” has been shown for monocyte/macrophages and NK cells.

Adaptive memory cells display exquisite specificity, while trained myeloid cells have no ability to remember a specific pathogen. NK cells appear to be somewhere in the middle with evidence of specificity and long -term recall potential.  Given the crucial role of NK cells against viruses and tumours, it is important advance our understanding on how these cells acquire memory and develop new approaches to target NK cell memory against infectious disease and cancer.

We will use single-cell omics, advanced 3D imaging and precision mouse models to characterise the heterogeneity and positioning of NK cell memory following influenza infection. These studies will help us test the roles of NK cells in protective immunity. The student will receive extensive training in in vivo immunology, transcriptomic and image analysis. They will be immersed in a world quality research environment with a thriving postgraduate research community.

For further information, and informal inquiries, please don’t hesitate to contact us: [Email Address Removed] / [Email Address Removed].

Please apply to the university portal via the 'INSTUTION WEBSITE' button and also send us your CV and a brief cover letter/email.

Early applications highly encouraged.

Funding Notes

Applicants must have obtained, or will obtain, a first or upper-second class UK honours degree in an appropriate science/technology area.
This project is fully funded for 3 years which covers fees and stipend rate at current UKRI rate.


1. Bekkering S, Domínguez-Andrés J, Joosten LAB, Riksen NP, Netea MG. Trained Immunity: Reprogramming Innate Immunity in Health and Disease. Annu Rev Immunol. 2021 Apr 26; 39:667-693. doi: 10.1146/annurev-immunol-102119-073855.
2. Sun JC, Lanier LL. Is There Natural Killer Cell Memory and Can It Be Harnessed by Vaccination? NK Cell Memory and Immunization Strategies against Infectious Diseases and Cancer. Cold Spring Harb Perspect Biol. 2018 Oct 1;10(10):a029538. doi: 10.1101/cshperspect.a029538.
3. Rasid O, Chevalier C, Camarasa TM, Fitting C, Cavaillon JM, Hamon MA. H3K4me1 Supports Memory-like NK Cells Induced by Systemic Inflammation. Cell Rep. 2019 Dec 17;29(12):3933-3945.e3. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2019.11.043.
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