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The gut microbiome and inflammaging (CARDINGQ20CASE)

   Graduate Programme

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  Prof S Carding  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project

The number of people living beyond 75 will almost double in the next twenty years. This presents
significant societal challenges particularly for public finances and the NHS as life expectancy increases at a faster rate than healthy and disability-free life expectancy. To add additional “years to life” we need a more complete understanding of the ageing process across the life course, and to identify the key players and events in its development. This PhD studentship aims to address this by investigating how age-related changes in populations of commensal gut microbes (the intestinal microbiome) contribute to immune insufficiency (immunosenescence) and chronic inflammation (inflammaging) in old age, by evaluating microbiome targeted interventions to redress immunosenescence.

This will be achieved through the development and characterisation of a primate model of human ageing that will involve:
(1) Assessing how the intestinal microbiome changes with age in young, ageing and elderly animals using high throughput next generation sequencing and metagenomics and immune profiling and function studies to develop a comprehensive picture of the dynamics of the microbiome and immune function during healthy ageing;
(2) Evaluating bacteria-based therapy including faecal microbiota transplantation (FMT), to slow or halt the progression of immunosenescence (subject to Home Office approval).

This collaborative project between the Quadram Institute (QI) and Public Health England (PHE) provides an opportunity to receive training in in vivo models, gut microbiology, cellular and molecular immunology, and in genomics and bioinformatics. This exciting project provides an opportunity to join a vibrant community of scientists and PhD students at the QI and PHE to undertake cutting edge research in ageing and the microbiome.

This CASE project has been shortlisted for funding by the Norwich Biosciences Doctoral Training Partnership (NRPDTP). Shortlisted applicants will be interviewed as part of the studentship competition. Candidates will be interviewed on either the 7th, 8th or 9th January 2020.

The NRPDTP offers postgraduates the opportunity to undertake a 4-year research project whilst enhancing professional development and research skills through a comprehensive training programme. You will join a vibrant community of world-leading researchers. Students with, or expecting to attain, at least an upper second-class honours degree, or equivalent, are invited to apply.

For further information and to apply, please visit our website:

Funding Notes

For funding eligibility guidance, please visit our website: Full Studentships cover a stipend (2019/0 rate: £15,009pa), research costs and tuition fees at UK/EU rate and are available to UK and EU students who meet the UK residency requirements.

Students from EU countries who do not meet the UK residency requirements may be eligible for a fees-only award. Students in receipt of a fees-only award will be eligible for a maintenance stipend awarded by the NRPDTP Bioscience Doctoral Scholarships. To be eligible students must meet the EU residency requirements.
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