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MRC Precision Medicine DTP: Deep impact – mining the meningococcal metagenome for antimicrobial resistance to provide public health intelligence data


Project Description

Supervisors:
Prof Andrew Smith
Dr Claire Cameron
Prof Martin Maiden

Project summary:
This project will focus on meningococcal disease which is a severe and potentially fatal infection of the brain and blood stream with highest incidence in teenagers and young children. In particular, we will focus on understanding the movement of genes controlling antimicrobial resistance (AMR). To help understanding of meningococcal biology a whole genome sequence (WGS) database has been established with over 35,000 Worldwide isolates and >8,000 sets of WGS data (http://pubmlst.org/neisseria). We have also developed a unique collection of clinical metadata for Scottish cases. This PhD programme will build on this activity by undertaking bioinformatic investigations of AMR gene families to determine associations with phenotypic susceptibility data and clinical outcomes. This type of bioinformatics characterization is needed for accurate monitoring, surveillance and effective vaccination which will also help control AMR in meningococci. Project bioinformatics output will also include visualisation of data to communicate results to a wide audience. This project will be embedded within the Scottish Meningococcal National Reference Laboratory and the applicant will form part of a multi-skilled team (including bioinformaticians) providing intelligence data to clinicians and Health Protection Scotland. Academic mentoring will also be facilitated with links to Oxford University and the Swedish meningococcal reference laboratory.

This MRC programme is joint between the Universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow. You will be registered at the host institution of the primary supervisor detailed in your project selection.

All applications should be made via the University of Edinburgh, irrespective of project location. Please note that your application along with any supporting documents will be shared with between both the University of Edinburgh and Glasgow.

For information on ‘How to Apply’ is detailed here: https://www.gla.ac.uk/colleges/mvls/graduateschool/precisionmedicine/howtoapply/
Please note that all applications must be submitted via the University of Edinburgh: http://www.ed.ac.uk/studying/postgraduate/degrees/index.php?r=site/view&id=919

Please note, you must apply to one of the projects and you must contact the primary supervisor prior to making your application. Additional information on the application process is available from the link above.

For more information about Precision Medicine visit:
http://www.ed.ac.uk/usher/precision-medicine

Funding Notes

Start: September 2020

Qualifications criteria: Applicants applying for a MRC DTP in Precision Medicine studentship must have obtained, or will soon obtain, a first or upper-second class UK honours degree or equivalent non-UK qualification, in an appropriate science/technology area.

Residence criteria: The MRC DTP in Precision Medicine grant provides tuition fees and stipend of at least £15,009 (RCUK rate 2019/20) for UK and EU nationals that meet all required eligibility criteria.

Full eligibility details are available: View Website

Enquiries regarding programme:

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