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Novel methods for tracking movement of mobile genetic elements in the human gut microbiome


Project Description

The extent to which the microbiome can act as a reservoir of clinically important genes such as antimicrobial resistance genes has not been established. We will exploit recently developed library preparation techniques, e.g. Hi-C, that enable genomes to be associated with mobile genetic elements (MGEs) such as plasmids across the entire community in situ. This will enable us to track the movement of MGEs and their associated genes between pathogens and their commensal relatives during the course of gastroenteritic infections and longer-term post-recovery. We will apply these methods to longitudinal samples comprising travellers experiencing diarrhea and high-risk groups such as men who have sex with men (MSM). This project will entail a mixture of novel laboratory protocol development, bioinformatics and data analysis and as such we welcome applicants from thelife sciences or with a more quantitative background.

We invite applications from candidates who have a 2.1 or 1st class degree in a relevant biological science or quantitative science discipline. A Masters degree in a relevant discipline would be an advantage.
Applicants should send a full CV (including the names and email addresses of at least two academic referees), and personal statement to . This should state:
• An outline of how this programme of research and training will benefit from their past experience and impact upon their career aspirations.

The position may be based at either, The University of Liverpool, The University of Warwick or PHE (Colindale/ Porton Down), depending on the project. For some projects, students will be required to work at one of the partner Universities’ and spend time at PHE.

Funding Notes

Thesis studentships cover research costs and tuition fees at the UK/EU rate for students who meet the residency requirements only.

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