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Investigating the role of the clinical microbiome and its antimicrobial resistome in infection and disease

   School of Pharmacy

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  Dr Stephen Kelly  Applications accepted all year round  Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

Many infections and disease states are closely linked to associated microbiomes, either of the patient themselves or the surrounding clinical environment. From the gut to the skin, microbes play a huge role in maintaining health and contributing to disease, either directly via infections, or by indirect means. The clinical environment is also known to harbour vast reservoirs of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) genes, enabling bacteria to become resistant to antibiotic therapy and rendering treatment ineffective. However, much is still unknown about the relationships between the clinical microbiome, the AMR gene profile contained therein, and subsequent disease in patients.

The successful candidate will join a dynamic research group focused on the analysis and functional exploitation of microbiomes from clinical settings, to help investigate the link between the hospital environment and infectious disease. This will be achieved using a combination of basic microbiology and culture-based techniques for the cultivation of clinically-relevant microorganisms, alongside DNA extraction and sequence analysis. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing will be used in conjunction with AMR gene profiles to assess the spread and enrichment of resistance genes in healthcare settings.

The student will build on existing expertise in a welcoming research group to answer important research questions which may help inform infection control and prescribing policy, enabling real-life impacts for human health. Full technical training will be provided, with opportunities to attend international conferences in the research area, ensuring the successful candidate is well prepared for a career in a variety of sectors.

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