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Identifying immunogenetic factors underlying susceptibility, severity and outcome of cryptococcal meningitis in African HIV-infected patients

Project Description

An exciting opportunity to work on a translational genomic project embedded within previous and ongoing phase III clinical trials in Africa. You will be supervised by a cross-disciplinary team of two clinical academics and a senior bioinformatician. You will be trained in and undertake host and pathogen genotyping using next generation sequencing platforms, functional immunological validation and integrated host-pathogen genome-wide association analyses to dissect the genetic factors underlying susceptibility to and severity of cryptococcal meningitis, one of the most common and deadly opportunistic infections in AIDS patients in sub-Saharan Africa.

You will be trained in both pathogen (Opportunistic fungus Cryptococcus neoformans) and human DNA extraction and sequencing using the latest platforms available in the UK

Supported by postdoctoral bioinformaticians, you will assist with genome wide association analyses of host and pathogen with disease severity and mortality.

Functional immune correlates will be assessed using a multiplex panel of immune response biomarkers including pro-inflammatory cytokines and through determination of the Cryptococcus-specific gene expression (transcriptome) signature in blood following Cryptococcal mannoprotein and heat-killed C. neoformans stimulations.

Any candidate susceptibility or severity SNPs will undergo functional analyses using RNA silencing or inhibiting antibodies, dependent on locus.

Potential applicants are strongly encouraged to contact the supervisors to discuss project details.

The current studentship is part of the MRC London Intercollegiate Doctoral Training Partnership (MRC-LID) between The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) and St. George’s University of London (SGUL)

Subsequently applications can be made by following the instructions on the MRC-LID site at http://mrc-lid.lshtm.ac.uk/apply/

Please click on the following link for more information about the MRC-LID programme: http://mrc-lid.lshtm.ac.uk/

For more information on funding please go to: http://mrc-lid.lshtm.ac.uk/faqs/

The deadline for applications is Wednesday 1 January 2020.

Funding Notes

To be eligible for a full studentship award applicants must
(a) hold, or expect to obtain before September 2020, a 1st or 2.1 Honours degree (as a minimum), and
(b) be a UK or EU citizen, and
(c) have maintained ordinary residence in the UK continuously for the 3 years preceding 1 September 2020.

To be generally eligible for a fees-only studentship award applicants must
(a) hold, or expect to obtain before September 2020, a 1st or 2.1 Honours degree (as a minimum), and
(b) be a UK or EU citizen.

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