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PhD programme in Integrated One Health Solutions in Edinburgh and Leiden - Development of multibiomarker Point-Of-Care test for detection of bovine tuberculosis and assessment of vaccine efficacy

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Thursday, November 28, 2019
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

• Background
A new PhD training partnership has been set up between the Universities of Edinburgh and Leiden in One Health Integrated Solutions.
The programme will be hosted by the Centre for Inflammation Research in partnership with Edinburgh Infectious Diseases and the Roslin Institute, and offers six PhD studentships fully funded for four years focused on Integrated One Health Solutions. These will cover stipend , tuition fee and travel funds.
The aim is to foster collaboration and to build on existing synergies in the identified themes of this call. Our universities have a long record of collaborative research and teaching, in particular in the fields of medicine and infectious diseases.
We anticipate that each University will fund three studentships to commence in the autumn of 2019 or over the next 12 months in areas where significant joint interest and expertise were identified.
It is envisaged that students will be registered for their degree at one or other host institution and co-supervised with at least one co-supervisor coming from the second instiution.
Projects will involve at least one supervisor from each organisation and it is anticipated that research exchanges between Leiden and Edinburgh will occur during the projects with the expectation that students will spend time in each institution, with a minimum of 12 months in the second host institution.
Information about investigators from Leiden and Edinburgh with interests aligned with ‘One Health’ is given below.
Students can apply for projects in Edinburgh or Leiden and should identify their first choice project plus two other projects they would consider undertaking from the list of projects available – see link to other projects below.
The selection process will involve an interview with members from both institutions.


• About the Project
Supervisors: Prof Jayne Hope (Edinburgh) and Dr Annemieke Geluk (Leiden)

Development of multibiomarker Point-Of-Care test for detection of bovine tuberculosis and assessment of vaccine efficacy

Project: Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the causative agent of human tuberculosis (TB), causes more deaths than any other single human infectious disease worldwide. In addition, M. bovis, causing TB in cattle, leads to significant economic losses to the agricultural sector, and represents a major zoonotic disease challenge. For both human and bovine TB there is an urgent need for sensitive and specific point-of-care (POC) diagnostic tests. Such tests will represent major game-changers, particularly in low resource settings.
This PhD project aims to develop a low complexity, diagnostic test for bovine TB detection in the field based on a quantitative lateral-flow assay format suitable for multiplex detection of cytokines and antibodies at POC level. This test format, pioneered for human TB, will be translated for detection of bovine cytokines based on a 6-biomarker signature specific for active human TB. Novel serum proteins will be assessed for their potential to detect disease, infection and vaccination and evaluated in the POC format using samples from cattle under experimental, and field conditions. The results established using the novel POC diagnostic test will be compared to the currently available diagnostic tests.
This project builds on extensive and unique research expertise of the collaborating groups in human and bovine TB immunology and vaccinology as well as POC-test development. It will benefit from multiple, ongoing international collaborations and state-of-the-art research facilities and education programs at The Roslin Institute and Leiden University Medical Centre.

Complete list of available projects: https://www.ed.ac.uk/edinburgh-infectious-diseases/teaching/phd-programmes/phd-integrated-one-health-solutions

Funding Notes

The successful applicant will be awarded a 4 year studentship, which includes stipend and tuition fees and is open to students from any country in the world. Funding covers contributions towards travel, up to 12 months living expenses at the second centre and research costs.

Applicants should hold at least an upper second-class degree or equivalent in a relevant discipline, e.g. immunology, microbiology, biology or fields related to the specific project.

Applicants should submit the following documents to :

(i) Personal statement about research interests and reasons for applying (200 words)
(ii) CV
(iii) ranking choice of top 3 projects


References

The studentship will be awarded competitively. Applicants should also arrange for two academic referees to submit letters of reference by email to [email protected] before the deadline.

All documents should be submitted no later than 5pm GMT on 28 November 2019
Short-listed candidates will be notified by email.
Informal enquiries can be sent via email to Prof Jayne Hope [email protected]

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