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Investigating the effects of host-pathobiont interactions on inflammation resolution in chronic inflammatory disease


   Dental & Health Sciences Research

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  Dr Magdalena Flak, Prof M Curtis  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

Host-microbiota homeostasis is pertinent for the maintenance of a healthy state. Chronic inflammatory diseases, which are often linked, such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA) or cardiovascular disease, are characterised by disturbances on both sides: Inflammation, normally host-protective, is resolved through an active process orchestrated by ω-3-fatty acid-derived lipid mediators, including protectins, maresins and resolvins. In the chronically inflamed host, deregulated resolution mechanisms result in the inability to effectively resolve inflammation. The microbiota of the chronically inflamed host is dysbiotic, typically with loss of diversity, outgrowth of pathobionts and a switch in their behaviour from benign to pathogenic. The dysregulations of each side perpetuate disruptions of the other. Increasing evidence implicates a role for the gut microbiome in propagating RA. This project will investigate how an intestinal pathobiont, Prevotella copri, exacerbates joint and cardiovascular inflammation during inflammatory arthritis. 

Person specification:

Candidates should hold (or be about to obtain) a minimum upper second class honours degree (or equivalent) in a related area / subject. Applications are particularly encouraged from candidates with a Masters degree in a related area/subject and/or lab experience in immunology, host-microbiota interactions or microbiology.

 Research training:

●       Designing and executing cutting edge experimental research

●       Analysis and interpretation of results

●       Contributing to manuscript writing

●       Training in state-of-the-art biochemical, microbiology and in vivo techniques, including flow cytometry, immunofluorescence microscopy, 16S qPCR, in vivo models of chronic inflammation, assessment of bacterial biofilm formation and growth.

●       Presentation of data to expert audiences.  

Duration of award: 3 years

Mode of study: Full-time

Eligibility: Home/EU/Overseas

Start date:  1st October 2022

How to apply:

Please apply online at apply.kcl.ac.uk following these steps:

  1. Register a new account/login
  2. Once logged in, select Create a new application
  3. Enter ‘Dental and Health Sciences Research MPhil/PhD (Full-time)/(Part-time)' under Choose a programme. Please ensure you select the correct mode of study
  4. Select 1 October 2022 as the start date
  5. Please note: Applicants must include the project reference number (2022/DOCS/05) in the 'Research proposal' and 'Funding (point 5)' sections of the application.

Applications must be received by the deadline specified in this listing.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to discuss projects with the first supervisor prior to submitting an application. 

More information about this project can be found here.


Funding Notes

Funding available : Stipend (£18,062), bench fees (£6,120) and tuition fees

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

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