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PhD programme in Integrated One Health Solutions in Edinburgh and Leiden - Rapid identification of pathogens utilising MinION technology

  • 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

Rapid identification of pathogens utilising MinION technology

Supervisors: Dr Kate Templeton (Edinburgh) and Dr Eric Claas (Leiden)

Project: Rapid identification of the etiologic agent of an infectious disease is essential for best management, setting up treatment and preventive measures. The current approach requires that specific pathogen identification is performed by direct diagnostic tests which normally include culture and PCR-based assays. Although these approaches are highly specific and well validated, they suffer a number of limitations. In addition many of the current techniques are relatively slow taking several days to deliver results and often are biased to one or two pathogens and don’t capture the complexity of the full microbial picture.
Rapid identification of the etiologic agent of an infectious disease is essential for best management, setting up treatment and preventive measures. The current approach requires that specific pathogen identification is performed by direct diagnostic tests which normally include culture and PCR-based assays. Although these approaches are highly specific and well validated, they suffer a number of limitations. In addition many of the current techniques are relatively slow taking several days to deliver results and often are biased to one or two pathogens and don’t capture the complexity of the full microbial picture.
The aim of this PhD project is to develop a rapid, genome sequence-based, diagnostic approach to optimise management of infections, focussing on (i) Challenging cases; (ii) Rapid delivery at point of impact and (iii) Poly microbial diagnosis.

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.



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