About the Project
Human fungal pathogens are often described as ‘Hidden killers’ as they kill more people every year than malaria and many so called ‘super-bugs’, but are often overlooked. Current anti-fungal drugs are limited, and many fungal pathogens are developing resistance to these drugs, hence there is a clear unmet clinical need for novel drug treatments. To drive forward antifungal drug discovery we need to better understand the pathobiology of these ‘hidden killers’. Candida albicans is one of the major human fungal pathogens causing over 400,000 deaths per annum. In this project you will investigate how C. albicans acquires essential nutrients during infection of the human host, because this is intimately linked with virulence. Specifically you will explore exciting new findings from the research team that acquisition of the macronutrient phosphate is vital for C. albicans virulence. Strikingly, phosphate acquisition is essential for this fungus to survive host-imposed stresses during infection, and C. albicans cells unable to acquire phosphate are acutely sensitive to macrophage killing. The aim of this project is to build on these findings and dissect the signalling mechanisms that regulate phosphate homeostasis and activation of the PHO phosphate acquisition pathway in C. albicans. Using a multidisciplinary approach, you will be trained in molecular genomics, RNA-Sequencing, metabolic profiling (LC-MS), fluorescence microscopy, phosphate analysis, and virulence models, to delineate how a major human fungal pathogen acquires phosphate during infection. This combination of approaches will uncover new virulence determinants and initiate the development of improved therapeutic strategies for treating fungal infections. You will also join a vibrant research team committed to the promotion and career progression of early career researchers.
Informal enquiries may be made to firstname.lastname@example.org
HOW TO APPLY
Applications should be made by emailing email@example.com with a CV and a covering letter, including whatever additional information you feel is pertinent to your application; you may wish to indicate, for example, why you are particularly interested in the selected project/s and at the selected University. Applications not meeting these criteria will be rejected. We will also require electronic copies of your degree certificates and transcripts.
In addition to the CV and covering letter, please email a completed copy of the Newcastle-Liverpool-Durham (NLD) BBSRC DTP Studentship Application Details Form (Word document) to firstname.lastname@example.org, noting the additional details that are required for your application which are listed in this form. A blank copy of this form can be found at: https://www.nld-dtp.org.uk/how-apply.
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8. Metabolomic profiling reveals a finely tuned, starvation-induced metabolic switch in Trypanosoma cruziepimastigotes. Journal of Biological Chemistry 2017 292(21): 8964-8977.
9. Proline Metabolism is Essential for Trypanosoma brucei brucei Survival in the Tsetse Vector. PLoS Pathogens 2017, 13(1): e1006158.
10. Role of Δ1-Pyrroline-5-Carboxylate Dehydrogenase Supports Mitochondrial Metabolism and Host-Cell Invasion of Trypanosoma cruzi. Journal of Biological Chemistry 2015, 290(12): 7767-7790.
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