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  (MRC DTP CASE) Development of new in vitro infection models to tackle antimicrobial resistance

   Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health

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  Dr Sara Gago, Dr M Bertuzzi, Dr J Bella  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is one of the most serious global public health threats in this century. Bacterial and fungal respiratory pathogens have developed multi-drug resistance against commonly used antimicrobials and represent a worldwide threat of infections, in particular for elderly and immunocompromised patients.

The combination of weak immune systems and AMR pathogens makes these patients very vulnerable to chronic lung infections. It has been shown that some of these pathogens such as Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Candida albicans Aspergillus fumigatus or Pseudomonas aeruginosa can survive inside host immune cells, however the mechanisms of intracellular persistence and its importance in susceptibility to antimicrobials and the development of resistance is poorly understood.

Therefore, it is essential to develop novel therapeutics and effective delivery systems to treat drug-resistant microorganisms, especially those that are responsible for chronic lung infections.


Applicants must have obtained or be about to obtain a First or Upper Second class UK honours degree, or the equivalent qualifications gained outside the UK, in a relevant discipline.

Before you Apply

Applicants must make direct contact with preferred supervisors before applying. It is your responsibility to make arrangements to meet with potential supervisors, prior to submitting a formal online application.

How to Apply

To be considered for this project you MUST submit a formal online application form - full details on how to apply can be found on the MRC DTP website

Your application form must be accompanied by a number of supporting documents by the advertised deadlines. Without all the required documents submitted at the time of application, your application will not be processed and we cannot accept responsibility for late or missed deadlines. Incomplete applications will not be considered. If you have any queries regarding making an application please contact our admissions team.

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

Equality, diversity and inclusion is fundamental to the success of The University of Manchester, and is at the heart of all of our activities. The full Equality, diversity and inclusion statement can be found on the website

Biological Sciences (4) Computer Science (8) Medicine (26)

Funding Notes

This is a 4 year CASE studentship in partnership with Tabrix Ltd. This scheme is open to UK applicants only. Therefore, full studentships will only be awarded to exceptional quality candidates, due to the competitive nature of this scheme.


- Vickers et al. (2018) Structure-based design of MptpB inhibitors that reduce multi-drug-resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis survival and infection burden in vivo. J. Med. Chem. 61(18): 8337-8352; 10.1021/acs.jmedchem.8b00832
- Fernández-Soto et al (2021) Discovery of uncompetitive inhibitors of SapM that compromise intracellular survival of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Sci. Rep. 11: 7667; 10.1038/s41598-021-87117-x
- Simonson et al (2020) Supramolecular peptide assemblies as antimicrobial scaffolds. Molecules 25: 2751; 10.3390/molecules25122751
- Dancer P, Pickard A, Potocka W, Earle K, Fortune-Grant R, Kadler K, Bertuzzi M, Gago S. Mutual inhibition of airway epithelial responses supports viral and fungal co-pathogenesis during coinfection. bioRxiv 2022.04.13.488236; doi:
- Bertuzzi M, Howell GJ. Single-Cell Analysis of Fungal Uptake in Cultured Airway Epithelial Cells Using Differential Fluorescent Staining and Imaging Flow Cytometry. Methods Mol Biol. 2021;2260:83-109. doi: 10.1007/978-1-0716-1182-1_6. PMID: 33405032.
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