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Stratified Medicine Graduate Training Programme in Systems Medicine and Spectroscopic Profiling (STRATiGRAD): Rationally designed probiotic approaches to combat antibiotic-associated diarrhoea

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Friday, May 10, 2019
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

As part of the Stratified Medicine Graduate Training Programme in Systems Medicine and Spectroscopic Profiling (STRATiGRAD) http://www1.imperial.ac.uk/stratigrad/ we are looking to recruit a PhD student for a nutrition based project in partnership with Nestle.

STRATiGRAD PhD opportunities are funded in partnership with the MRC, NIHR and various industrial sources. The programme embodies a “blue-skies” approach to research with an analytical and modelling focus. The Programme is led by Professor Gary Frost and students will be supervised by a team of high caliber scientists including an industrial co-supervisor. Each project will have a common training core and with elements of translatable skills. The Division of Integrated Systems Medicine and digestive diseases http://www1.imperial.ac.uk/computationalsystemsmedicine/ is exceptionally well-equipped with state-of-the-art analytical platforms dedicated to metabolic analysis for patient journey phenotyping, stratified medicine, molecular epidemiology and real-time diagnostics.

Applications are invited for a PhD project exploring the following theme:
Rationally designed probiotic approaches to combat antibiotic-associated diarrhoea: Humans are home to approximately 100 trillion symbiotic microbes (the commensal microbiota) which are a major regulator of host immunity and metabolism. Microbiota disruption through antibiotic treatment is associated with antibiotic-associated diarrhoea (AAD) and increased susceptibility to enteric infection. While it is clear that microbiota disruption leads to AAD and enteric infection, it remains unclear as to the loss of which specific members of the microbiota renders the host susceptible to AAD and enteric infection. In our recent work (Brown et al, Nature Comms, 2017), we have developed ways to construct synthetic communities of symbiotic microbes to probe how these organisms regulate host immunity. This project will be based in the Clarke group (http://www.imperial.ac.uk/people/thomas.clarke) at Imperial and is a collaboration with our industry partner Nestlé. We will use our novel models and approaches to tackle this gap in knowledge to pave the way for personalised, rationally designed approaches to restore microbiota homeostasis to combat AAD and enteric infection. In addition it will provide cutting-edge training in the exciting and highly sought-after areas of the microbiota and provide unparalleled access to industry.

This studentship will leverage the world-leading analytical capacity of the Division and advance its informatics and imaging capacity to provide a multi-window view into personalised treatments for microbiota dysbiosis, and novel ways to combat infectious disease.

Applicants must be Home OR EU nationals with leave to remain in the UK, and should hold or expect to obtain a Master’s degree in a relevant scientific discipline, ESPECIALLY biology, computational biology and microbiology, as well as a first or upper-second class honours science degree or equivalent. All Imperial College PhD entry requirements must be met (see http://www3.imperial.ac.uk/entryrequirements/graduate).

To apply, please send a covering letter, full CV and contact details of two referees, one of whom must be academic, to Dr Isabel Garcia Perez ( ).

The deadline for applications is 10th of May 2019. Short-listed candidates will be informed by email and it is expected that interviews will take place the week commencing 27th of May 2019.

Funding Notes

Awards will cover tuition tuition fees at the Home/EU rates, a tax-free stipend of £18,500 per annum and project consumable costs.

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