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  OneZoo Centre for Doctoral Training Scholarships, Project 6: Investigating the relationship between market hygiene and human immunity, and the risk of spill over of avian influenza viruses from poultry to humans in live poultry markets in Bangladesh


   OneZoo CDT

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  Dr Patrick Nguipdop-Djomo  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

The OneZoo CDT offers an unprecedented level of diversity and transdisciplinarity, with award-winning educators and experts in zoonotic diseases and environmental sciences, from Cardiff University, Aberystwyth University, Queen’s University Belfast, and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, working collectively, fostering creation of the OneZoo research community, and empowering students to develop their own training to acquire strong employability skills.

The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) has been awarded funding as part of the OneZoo CDT to support studentships over the next three years, with planned cohort intakes in the 2024-25 and 2025-26 academic years, with up to six studentships.

Background

Avian Influenza Viruses (AIV) are endemic in poultry in Bangladesh. Marketing practices, for example mixing of chicken with other bird species in markets, and sale and slaughter of birds in live poultry markets with various degree of biosecurity, increase human exposure and the spill-over potential, therefore the pandemic risk.

The project

Through this PhD, the student will investigate determinants of AIV spill-over risk at the human-poultry interface in live poultry markets in Bangladesh, focusing on the role of market hygiene and human immune resistance to infection given exposure. Specific objectives:

- Explore the relationship between overall market hygiene and marketing practices in poultry stalls, and risk of exposure in humans, notably through aerosolization of virus particles. 

- Investigate the association between immune response in market workers and the risk of infection, including the potential role of mucosal immunity and existing immunity to human influenza viruses. - Use mathematical modelling approaches to integrate the information on exposure in live poultry markets and levels of susceptibility in market workers, and support spill-over risk assessment.   

Your learning and development

The student will work within established interdisciplinary research teams in this UK-Brazil research partnership. They will be hosted at LSHTM’s Environmental Health Group, a world leading, multidisciplinary team of 40+ professional researchers, PhD students, and project support staff working on environmental health issues in high burden settings. During the placement in Salvador (minimum of four months), they will be embedded in research groups at ISC-UFBA and IGM-Fiocruz with decades of experience conducting community-centred research on zoonoses in informal settlements. They will have the opportunity to disseminate their research outputs in meetings with local researchers, community members and public health agencies, and at national and international academic conferences. The proposed multidisciplinary supervisory team and placement will allow them to develop the interdisciplinary skills and experience that are essential for studying zoonotic disease transmission at the human-animal-environment interface. This development will be supported with quantitative and qualitative methods training at LSHTM, Cardiff School of Social Sciences and UFBA/Fiocruz.

The student will gain expertise in quantitative methods (hierarchical regression models, geospatial methods), R coding, causal inference, and participatory/qualitative methods. They will also develop skills in systematic reviews, data synthesis, and interdisciplinary communication through collaborating with, and disseminating research outputs to, local and international stakeholders.

Where will the project be based?

The student will be primarily based in London, with travel to Bangladesh.

Supervisors:

  1. Principal Supervisor: Dr Patrick Nguipdop Djomo (LSHTM) [Email Address Removed]
  2. Co-Supervisor: Professor Punam Mangtani (LSHTM) [Email Address Removed]
  3. Co-Supervisor: Professor Zhiwen Luo (Cardiff University)

Funding Notes:

The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) has been awarded funding as part of the OneZoo CDT to support studentships over the next three years, with planned cohort intakes in the 2024-25 and 2025-26 academic years, with up to six studentships.

The studentship will provide:

  • Tuition fees (at the LSHTM Home fee rate), and
  • A student stipend (at the UKRI studentship rate, which was GBP 20,622.00 per annum in 2023-24), and
  • A Research Training and Support Grant to go towards consumables and training for the duration of the award.

Applicants must meet minimum LSHTM entry requirements. Please see the specific project details above for any further requirements.

Some projects may be suitable for part-time study; anyone wishing to undertake part-time study is encouraged to contact the supervisor for more details.

This studentship is open to applicants assessed as both ‘Home’ and ‘Overseas’ fee status. For further information about Fee Status Assessments please see the School’s Admissions policies.

Successful applicants who are nationals of low income countries and lower middle income countries (LLMICs) may be eligible for an LSHTM bursary to cover the fee top up costs. LLMIC applicants who are short-listed for interview, will be contacted by the LSHTM Scholarships Team at that time to provide further details of the LSHTM bursary scheme as per our UKRI international recruitment statement

Successful international applicants who are not from an LLMIC will be required to cover the tuition fee top up costs from other sources (e.g. other scholarship or bursary awards). Awardees may not use their studentship stipend to top up fees.

Enquiries email name and address:

For further information regarding this research project, please contact Dr Patrick Nguipdop Djomo (LSHTM) [Email Address Removed].

Any general queries regarding research degrees at the London School of Hygiene and tropical medicine, please email [Email Address Removed].

Biological Sciences (4)

 About the Project