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MSc by Research: Immunotherapy against trypanosomiasis: Proof of concept

   School of Life Sciences

  Prof M Field  Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

Drug discovery for parasitic diseases remains a major challenge and global health need. Significant advances in screening technology and methods to understand the mode of action in the past decade have contributed hugely to our arsenal of biological tools to control these pathogens. However, the vast majority of compounds that demonstrate high activity in in vitro assays and screens fail when tested against whole cells or in animal infection models. This is most likely due to poor entry to the parasite cell. In trypanosomes, which cause sleeping sickness and Chagas disease, one validated mechanism for drugs to enter cells is endocytosis. This exploits the ability of the drug to bind to parasite-specific surface proteins, thereby gaining entry to the cell interior, providing a potential highly efficient mechanism for the delivery of treatments. In collaboration with scientists are the Rockefeller University in New York, we have developed a set of nanobodies (essentially mini-monoclonal antibodies) that specifically recognise two distinct surface proteins. Nanobodies represent a new therapeutic strategy that is beginning to enter the market, with, for example, activity demonstrated against a large range of diseases, including SARS-2/COVID19.

The project will seek to demonstrate that nanobodies efficiently enter trypanosomes and can deliver cytotoxic drugs to effect a kill. The potential of this technology to facilitate the use of compounds that previously failed due to entry issues could open a new era in the range of drugs that could become available.  

Please see our website for further details on the programme:

Life Sciences MSc by Research MSc by Research (Postgraduate) : Study : University of Dundee

Please note before submitting your application that you must list your top three project choices in the Research Proposal section of the application form.

You apply for this course using our Direct Application System. Once you've signed up for an account you'll be asked to search for a course.

To find Life Science MSc by Research you should select the following options:

·   Course type: Research Postgraduate

·   Keyword: Life

When you complete your form, you should include your top 3 project choices, 2 letters of reference, uploaded under "Other Information" > "Supporting documents" and a personal statement. Failure to do so will delay your application.

Please note when submitting an application that we have the following deadline dates throughout the year:

September Starts - Application Deadline 1st May, Interview Date - Late June

January Starts - Application Deadline 1st Sep, Interview Date - Late October

May Starts - Application Deadline 1st Feb, Interview Date Late March

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