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Metals and host-pathogen interactions: the role of metal handling systems in the human gastrointestinal pathogen Campylobacter jejuni

Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health

About the Project

Campylobacter jejuni is a globally important food-borne pathogen causing an estimated 400-500 million cases of acute human gastroenteritis each year. This bacterium is able to colonize and persist in farm animals, particularly chickens, which are the major source of human campylobacteriosis. Metals (such as zinc and copper) play a central role in the outcome of bacteria-host interactions. To control infections, in a process termed nutritional immunity, the immune system exploits both the need for bacteria to acquire metals in order to proliferate and the innate toxicity of metals. In response pathogenic bacteria have evolved a myriad of metal-sensing, metal-acquisition and metal-detoxification systems which represent key virulence determinants. These systems offer attractive targets for the development of much needed novel antimicrobial agents as well as opportunities to exploit nutritional immunity. This project combines the expertise of two laboratories (Cavet – Metals in bacterial pathogens, Linton – Campylobacter biology) and focusses on uncovering and characterising the metal handling systems in C. jejuni, and examining their roles in allowing this pathogen to adapt to metal stresses within its human and animal hosts.

Candidates are expected to hold (or be about to obtain) a minimum upper second class honours degree (or equivalent) in a related area / subject. Candidates with experience in E general molecular biology and bacteriology techniques are encouraged to apply. For information on how to apply for this project, please visit the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health Doctoral Academy website ( Informal enquiries may be made directly to the primary supervisor.

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Funding Notes

Applications are invited from self-funded students. For UK/EU tuition fees are £15,000 and International are £29,500 for 2018/19 academic year.

As an equal opportunities institution we welcome applicants from all sections of the community regardless of gender, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation and transgender status. All appointments are made on merit.

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