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  Leveraging host-microbial metabolite cross-talk to direct precision therapy in inflammatory bowel disease - Powell / Korcsmaros Labs

   Department of Metabolism, Digestion & Reproduction

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  Dr Tamas Korcsmaros , Prof Nick Powell  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

This exciting opportunity is generously funded by the NIHR Imperial Biomedical Research Centre and Astra Zeneca.

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a chronic immune mediated relapsing-remitting condition which is anticipated to affect over 1% of the UK population by 2030. Despite advances in our understanding of disease pathogenesis and the enlarging armamentarium of advanced IBD therapies, rates of sustained remission with even the most efficacious treatments remain low at less than 50%. The gut microbiome, consisting of trillions of bacteria, fungi and viruses predominantly residing in the colon, is considered a crucial mediator in IBD pathogenesis. However, the mechanisms through which the gut microbiota impact IBD disease pathogenesis and treatment response have yet to be fully elucidated.

This PhD proposal will aim to gain mechanistic insight into the network of microbial proteins and small molecules that drive IBD pathogenesis and regulate responses to IBD therapies.

The following objectives will be addressed:

1.      Deep sequencing and profiling of IBD patients’ microbiome, metabolome, and proteome.

2.      In silico predicting key functional pathways and mechanistic linking of microbial metabolites and host processes using network biology and multi-omic data integration.

3.      Utilize in vitro models to validate and characterise the effects of microbial metabolites and proteins that drive IBD pathogenesis and barrier repair.

This project combines multi-omic and network biology approaches with in vitro model (cell line, organoid based co-culture systems) work. The student will join a thriving IBD research group and will receive post-doctoral training and supervision within the Powell and Korcsmaros Laboratories.

For further information about this research project research please contact either Tamas Korcsmaros ([Email Address Removed]) or Nicholas Powell.  ([Email Address Removed]

Biological Sciences (4) Medicine (26)

Funding Notes

An opportunity has arisen for three 3-year PhD studentships, located within the Department of Metabolism, Digestion and Reproduction at Imperial College London, funded by the NIHR Imperial Biomedical Research Centre.
Funding: 36 months (full time), includes course fees at the UK-Home rate of £7,030.00 per year (Faculty of Medicine | Imperial students | Imperial College London) and a tax‐free stipend of £20,622. Funding for overseas fees is not provided.

Starting date: 01 April 2024


All Imperial College London PhD entry requirements must be met and the successful applicant will subsequently need to apply online.
Applicants should hold (or obtain by January 2024) a first or upper-second-class honours degree. Applicants must also meet Imperial College’s English language requirements – further details can be found at
We look forward to receiving applications from all candidates and will select those who display the potential to become world-leading researchers of the future based on their application and performance at an interview.
For queries about the application process please contact Alison Scoggins, (
Applicants for this studentship should submit their CV and a cover letter, including full contact details of two referees, to Alison Scoggins (
We regret that due to the large volume of applications received, we are only able to notify those shortlisted for interview.