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MSc by Research: Mapping the host response to fungal pathogens

   School of Life Sciences

  Prof S Arthur  Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

Fungal pathogens represent a significant clinical problem for which treatment options remain limited. While in healthy individuals localised fungal infections are usually cleared by the immune system, systemic or blood stream fungal infections are a serious clinical issue, with mortality rates of 40-50% even with modern treatments. This is being compounded by the emergence of resistance to the limited number of anti-fungal infections. Systemic fungal infections are most common either as a hospital acquired infection or in immunocompromised individuals – such as HIV patients and those on chemotherapy or other immunosuppressive treatments.  

While a number of fungal species can cause systemic infection, Candia species, and in particular Candida ablicans, are the most common. Despite this we know relatively little about how fungal pathogens affect intracellular signalling in immune cells. Tissue macrophages are one of the cells to respond to pathogens and help coordinate the subsequent immune response in addition to their role in phagocytosing and killing pathogens. The macrophage’s response to Candida is however substantially different to those triggered by bacterial pathogens, however it clear what the critical signalling pathways in the macrophage are following Candida infection. To investigate this, phospho-proteomics will be used to examine how Candida infection affects signalling cascades in macrophages in an unbiased manner. Using the data from the this, networks of activated pathways will be established. The roles of these pathways will then be tested using a combination of small molecule inhibitors and siRNA. The project will therefore allow us to be understand the innate response to Candida and potentially identify targets that could be used to develop drugs to boost the immune response to Candida.  

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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