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Schistosome blood flukes and bacteria: How pathogens interact with other pathogens, and the host


Project Description

Project details:

Parasitic schistosome flukes reside in the blood stream of the host, causing significant chronic disease in hundreds of millions of people in tropical and sub-tropical countries. Bacteria populations, of which some are pathogenic, are considered ubiquitous in almost all biological settings. While schistosome-host interactions are relatively well characterised, researchers don’t know how these parasites may interact with other microorganisms. This project will characterise the interaction between schistosomes and bacteria. The student will identify bacterial species associated with natural schistosome infections and demonstrate how these bacteria may impact on parasite biology. The schistosome lifecycle is complex, and as such the project has scope for the student to focus on one or more facets of the parasite’s biology and the importance of bacteria.

The student will develop expertise in methodologies including classical parasitology and microbiology techniques, tissue culturing and molecular biology. Translation value in the project may include the identification of parasite derived antimicrobials representing significant value for the treatment of bacterial diseases.

Parasite/bacterial interactions is an emerging field of research. In further understanding the microenvironment of a major pathogen such as schistosomes, we aim to identify new targets for future treatments for this disease.

This project will be supervised by Dr Geoff Gobert and Dr Julianne Megaw of Queen’s University School of Biological Sciences.

All applications MUST be submitted through https://dap.qub.ac.uk/portal/user/u_login.php.

Specific skills/experience required by applicants:

Applicants should have a firm background in either parasitology and/or microbiology. Methods to be used include culturing methods, standard microbiology and molecular biology.

All applicants must meet the academic entry requirements: https://www.qub.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate-research/biological-sciences-phd.html#entry

Funding Notes

Only UK and EU students are eligible to apply. Before applying, it is strongly recommended that you read the full information on eligibility criteria available from DfE: View Website.

Please note in particular that not all successful applicants may be eligible to receive a full studentship (i.e. fees and stipend) - please read in detail the Residency and Citizenship requirements in the document linked to above.

How good is research at Queen’s University Belfast in Public Health, Health Services and Primary Care?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 29.60

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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