University of East Anglia Featured PhD Programmes
Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University Featured PhD Programmes
University College London Featured PhD Programmes

The role of TGFβ on modulation of immune responses in Marek’s disease

This project is no longer listed on and may not be available.

Click here to search for PhD studentship opportunities
  • Full or part time
    Dr S Behboudi
    Dr N Riddell
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Regulatory T cells suppress many different immune cells and thus they are involved in immune modulation to inhibit inflammatory responses. Some pathogens activate expansion of regulatory T cells to escape immune control, however the mechanism involved in the induction and expansion of regulatory T cells by pathogens is not understood.

Marek’s disease virus causes a lymphoproliferative disease in chickens and causes transformation of lymphocytes. Our group has shown that infection with Marek’s disease virus induces expansion of a novel regulatory T cells in the infected chickens, and this may explain immunosuppression observed in these birds (Gurung et al. PLoS Pathogen 2017). We have also recently shown that Marek’s disease virus activates metabolic changes in the infected cells (Boodhoo et al. Journal of Virology 2019 and Boodhoo et al. Journal of Virology 2020). The studentship will investigate the mechanism involved in induction and activation of regulatory T cells by the virus and determine the role of metabolites produced by the infected cells in induction of regulatory T cells.

A combination of cellular and molecular immunology as well as classical virology techniques including flow cytometry, confocal microscopy, metabolic analysis, molecular biology and gene silencing will be utilised in this project.

TO APPLY: Full details of how to apply can be found on our website - click Visit Website.
For enquiries regarding the application process please email Admissions Enquiries - click Email Now.
For informal enquiries regarding this project please email the project supervisors noted above.
Please note: Due to the current COVID-19 situation there are likely to be delays with recruitment - please email Admissions Enquiries with any queries.

Funding Notes

This is a fully funded studentship open to science graduates with, or who anticipate obtaining, at least 2.1 or equivalent in relevant biological subject in undergraduate degree, or a Masters degree - subject to university regulations. Open to UK students and eligible EU students who qualify for home-rated fees - see Residential Eligibility Guidelines on website for details. Eligible students will receive minimum annual stipend of £15,009; university registration fees will be paid. Students without English as first language must provide evidence of IELTS score of 7.0, no less than 6.5 in subsections.


1. Boodhoo N, Gurung A, Sharif S, Behboudi S. Marek’s disease in chickens; a review with focus on immunology. Veterinary Research, 2016 November 28: 47(1);119.
2. Gurung A, Kamble N, Kaufer B, Pathan A, Shahriar Behboudi. Association of Marek’s Disease induced immunosuppression with activation of a novel regulatory T cells in chickens, PLoS Pathogens, 2017, 13 (12), e1006745.
3. Boodhoo N, Kamble N, Sharif S, Behboudi S. Glutaminolysis and Glycolysis are essential for optimal replication of Marek’s disease virus. J Virol. 2020 Jan 31;94(4).
4. Boodhoo N, Kamble N, Kaufer BB, Behboudi S. Replication of Marek’s disease virus is dependent on de novo synthesis of fatty acid and Prostaglandin E2. J Virol. 2019 Jun 14;93(13).

FindAPhD. Copyright 2005-2020
All rights reserved.