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Nutritional Immunity in Drosophila - identifying the underlying nutrient-sensing control of host immune regulators and investigating how altered nutrients affect pathogen prosperity


Project Description

PhD Student Position: Nutritional Immunity in Drosophila
Monash University, Australia and Newcastle University, UK

A PhD position is available under the supervision of Dr Matthew Piper at Monash University (http://piperlab.org/), School of Biological Sciences, in Melbourne, Australia and co-supervised by Dr Luisa Wakeling (https://goo.gl/ymNidc) & Dr Nicholas Jakubovics (https://goo.gl/kNXdbN) at Newcastle University, UK. The position is based at Monash, and incorporates a 3 month visit to Newcastle.

We are looking for motivated, talented and enthusiastic PhD students with an interest in nutrition, genetics and insect immunity to investigate how these factors interact to modify fitness.

PROJECT DETAILS:
Drosophila is a valuable model for understanding how nutrition alters physiology and the mechanisms of host-pathogen interactions. Our preliminary work has shown that changes in nutrient balance can alter resistance to pathogenic bacteria and ultimately affect survival. However, at present the impact of dietary nutrients on colonisation, biofilm formation and the transition to virulence is not well understood. The project will employ precise manipulations of Drosophila diets to vary host resistance to infection in response to a range of pathogens. Such precision will enable us to identify the underlying nutrient-sensing control of host immune regulators and to investigate how altered nutrients affect pathogen prosperity. Such understanding is the first step towards enhancing diets for improved resistance to infections.

SCHOLARSHIP DETAILS:
We have a fully-funded scholarship available for domestic (Australian) and international students. The 3.5 year award includes all course fees, a $26,000 AUD per year tax-free stipend, an allowance for conference attendance as well as airfares and living expenses for a 3 month trip to Newcastle University in the UK. (Health insurance is also covered for international students).

MONASH UNIVERSITY, School of Biological Sciences:
Monash is a member of the Group of Eight, a coalition of top Australian universities recognized for their excellence in teaching and research. The School of Biological Sciences is a dynamic unit with strengths in ecology, genetics and physiology (monash.edu/science/about/schools/biological-sciences/). The University is located near Melbourne, one of the most liveable cities in the world and a cultural and recreational hub.

NEWCASTLE UNIVERSITY, School of Dental Sciences:
Newcastle University is part of the Russell Group of UK research intensive Universities. The School of Dental Sciences is ranked in the top 40 by QS World Rankings, and has expertise across microbiology, nutrition and immunology (https://ncl.ac.uk/cohr/). Newcastle is a vibrant city that is consistently rated one of the best locations in the UK for student life.

APPLICATION PROCESS:
Interested candidates must complete the online questionnaire: https://goo.gl/RPRKzc

Applicants must possess a Bachelor’s or equivalent degree with first-class Honours, and/or a distinction in a research Masters degree in a relevant discipline (e.g., genetics, insect nutrition & physiology). Review of applications will begin immediately and short-listed candidates will be contacted for more information and invited to interview.

Funding Notes

We have a fully-funded scholarship available for domestic (Australian) and international students.
The 3.5 year award includes all course fees, a $26,000 AUD per year tax-free stipend, an allowance for conference attendance as well as airfares and living expenses for a 3 month trip to Newcastle University in the UK. (Health insurance is also covered for international students).

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