Parasite responses to host immunity

   School of Science, Engineering and Environment

  Prof Joseph Jackson  Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

Information on this PhD research area can be found further down this page under the details about the Widening Participation Scholarship given immediately below.

Applications for this PhD research are welcomed from anyone worldwide but there is an opportunity for UK candidates (or eligible for UK fees) to apply for a widening participation scholarship.

Widening Participation Scholarship: Any UK candidates (or eligible for UK fees) is invited to apply. Our scholarships seek to increase participation from groups currently under-represented within research. A priority will be given to students that meet the widening participation criteria and to graduates of the University of Salford. For more information about widening participation, follow this link: [Scroll down the page until you reach the heading “PhD widening participation scholarships”.] Please note: we accept applications all year but the deadline for applying for the widening participation scholarships in 2024 is 28th March 2024. All candidates who wish to apply for the MPhil or PhD widening participation scholarship will first need to apply for and be accepted onto a research degree programme. As long as you have submitted your completed application for September/October 2024 intake by 28 February 2024 and you qualify for UK fees, you will be sent a very short scholarship application. This form must be returned by 28 March 2024. Applications received after this date must either wait until the next round or opt for the self-funded PhD route.


Project description: Invading parasites have to cope with a wide range of host environments, as the host immune system typically shows very great functional variation between individuals, and moreover, immune responses may also develop over time. Little is known of how parasites cope with host immune responses – or of whether parasite responses are as variable as the host responses they have to cope with. This project will, in the first instance, take a co-transcriptomics approach, analysing genome-wide mRNA expression in parasites and immunotranscriptomic responses in host immunological cells and tissues. Network analysis will be used to match co-expressed response pathways between the host and the parasite and to ask whether functionally different host responses elicit distinctive responses in the parasite, or whether parasites employ a generic, one-size-fits-all, response to cope with all host attacks. The project will also ask if there are particular types of host responses that are consistently more associated with adverse signatures in parasites (e.g., molecular signatures of stress or damage) – and which pathways and genes contribute to these responses. Gastrointestinal helminth infections of rodents will be used as a model. Training will be provided in basic parasitology techniques, nucleic acids isolation, transcriptomic and genomic analysis, and network analysis. The project will advance basic knowledge of host -parasite interactions and may also identify drug targets in parasites that would make them more vulnerable to host immunity.

 Please contact Professor Joseph Jackson () for more information.

Biological Sciences (4)

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