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Hijacking of host cellular functions and metabolism in MRSA pathogenesis

Project Description

Applications are invited from potential PhD candidates to work at the Department of Life Sciences, University of Roehampton, supervised by Dr Michal Letek, Dr Volker Behrends, and Dr Yolanda Calle-Patino.

Project area:
Our objective is to understand the interaction of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) with mammalian host cells. The candidate will perform a range of genomic, proteomic and metabolic profiling studies to find previously unknown factors required for the intracellular survival of MRSA. This could lead to the identification of novel host-targeted therapeutics against MRSA, which may circumvent the problem of antibiotic resistance.

Research Environment:
The Department of Life Sciences is committed to developing a supportive and stimulating environment to pursue excellence in teaching, learning, research and knowledge transfer activities. Our scholars work in various academic disciplines, including Anthropology, Aquatic Biology, Biomedical, Sport and Health sciences. The Department is home to several undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, which are underpinned by first-class research undertaken by staff. We also work with a range of organisations in industry and the public sector to be fully engaged in knowledge transfer activities and to promote public engagement in science.

The successful applicant will join the Health Sciences Research Centre (HSRC) at the University of Roehampton. The HSRC represents a multidisciplinary team with research interests on different aspects of human disease, ranging from neurological disorders, to bacterial infections or metabolic disorders. 84% of our research output is rated as internationally excellent and world leading in terms of originality, significance and rigour (REF2014).

The HSRC has well-equipped laboratories including an ultra-high performance liquid chromatography triple quadrupole mass spectrometer (UPLC-(TQ)-MS), clinical and microscopy analysers, molecular biology equipment, and cell and tissue culture facilities. Our excellent research facilities make the HSRC a stimulating environment for PhD students.

To apply, please email:
1) A copy of your CV including copies of your academic qualifications
2) A cover letter stating the reasons you are applying for this studentship and outlining your expertise and relevant skills.

Funding Notes

In order to be eligible, applicants should hold a first class or upper second class honours undergraduate degree (or equivalent international qualification) and a Master’s degree (or equivalent) in a related subject. European degrees of 5 years that include laboratory training may be the equivalent to a BSc+MSc degree in the UK.


Host-directed kinase inhibitors act as novel therapies against intracellular Staphylococcus aureus
Natalia Bravo-Santano, Helen Stölting, Frederic Cooper, Narina Bileckaja, Andrea Majstorovic, Nadine Ihle, Luis M. Mateos, Yolanda Calle, Volker Behrends, Michal Letek
Sci Rep. 2019; 9: 4876. Published online 2019 Mar 19. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-41260-8
PMCID: PMC6425000

Intracellular Staphylococcus aureus Modulates Host Central Carbon Metabolism To Activate Autophagy
Natalia Bravo-Santano, James K. Ellis, Luis M. Mateos, Yolanda Calle, Hector C. Keun, Volker Behrends, Michal Letek
mSphere. 2018 Jul-Aug; 3(4): e00374-18. Published online 2018 Aug 8. doi: 10.1128/mSphere.00374-18
PMCID: PMC6083095

TMEM59 defines a novel ATG16L1-binding motif that promotes local activation of LC3
Emilio Boada-Romero, Michal Letek, Aarne Fleischer, Kathrin Pallauf, Cristina Ramón-Barros, Felipe X Pimentel-Muiños
EMBO J. 2013 Feb 20; 32(4): 566–582. Published online 2013 Feb 1. doi: 10.1038/emboj.2013.8
PMCID: PMC3579146

How good is research at University of Roehampton in Allied Health Professions, Dentistry, Nursing and Pharmacy?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 10.00

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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