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Identifying novel strategies to block rhinovirus infections through the analysis of virus-host protein-protein interactions in infected cells.

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  • Full or part time
    Dr Aurelie Mousnier
    Prof U Power
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

Rhinovirus infections are the main cause of common colds and a major cause of exacerbation of chronic respiratory diseases, such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), leading to an acute worsening of symptoms. However, there is currently no vaccine or antiviral treatment against rhinoviruses and current treatments against asthma or COPD are poorly effective against rhinovirus-induced exacerbations.

To identify targets for the development of new treatments against rhinovirus-induced exacerbations in people with asthma or COPD, we need to better understand the interactions between rhinovirus and their host cells. In particular, identifying host cell proteins that are essential for the replication of the virus or for the response of the host, and understanding the molecular mechanisms involved, would be important.

We recently identified several human proteins interacting with rhinovirus proteins in infected cells. The project will investigate the role of these host proteins in the replication of the virus.

This offers an exciting opportunity to acquire and apply a diverse range of techniques (molecular/cell biology, biochemistry, virology…) and state-of-the art imaging and proteomics methods to elucidate the molecular pathogenesis of rhinovirus; thus contributing to the discovery of new treatment strategies for the most common infection of humans.


We are looking for graduates who are enthusiastic and strongly motivated to use the most innovative approaches to address key global challenges in infectious diseases, antimicrobial resistance, animal health, climate change and sustainability. Applicants should have a degree in biological sciences or a related discipline.

The minimum academic requirement is an Upper Second Class Honours degree from a UK or ROI HE provider (or qualifications deemed equivalent by the University).

Students wishing to apply to Queen’s University Belfast (and for whom English is not their first language) must be able to demonstrate their proficiency in English in order to benefit fully from their course of study or research. For more information on English Language requirements see

Funding Notes

The studentship will be funded by the Department for the Economy (DfE). Please read the full information on eligibility criteria: View Website

However, there may be flexibility to fund a small number of exceptional International applicants.

General enquiries about the programme may be directed to [Email Address Removed]


Please visit the School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences, Centre for Experimental Medicine, website for further details about the Centre:

When applying, please choose 'MEDICINE' as your subject area/School.

Related Subjects

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