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The spread of antimicrobial resistance to humans through the food chain in the gastrointestinal pathogen Campylobacter.

Project Description

The University of Warwick in partnership with the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) and the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety (ANSES) is inviting applications for a fully-funded PhD studentship to commence in March 2020. For eligible students the studentship will cover UK/EU tuition fees plus an annual tax-free stipend of at least £17,000 for 3 years full-time- study.

Project Description:
Campylobacter is a common gastrointestinal bacterial pathogen for people that is gaining resistance to fluoroquinolone (FQ) class antibiotics, which are regarded as critically important by the World Health Organisation. Campylobacter originating from poultry are considered a main source of campylobacteriosis in people and this project presents an exciting opportunity to study the development of FQ resistance in Campylobacter from poultry and how this can impact on public health.
This PhD project will exploit archives of Campylobacter and associated information (phenotypic, genomic, epidemiological meta-data) from surveillance and research across the food-chain to investigate the development and diversity of FQ resistance. The study will assess in vitro and in vivo biological fitness costs/benefits of resistance and determine if any specific FQ resistance variants found in poultry are more or less likely to persist and cause disease in people. State of the art genomic analysis approaches will be used alongside microbiological and epidemiological methods in this project.
The PhD is fully funded through the One Health European Joint Programme ( and will be commencing in January 2020. The studentship will be supervised by Dr John Rodgers, who leads the National Reference Laboratory for Campylobacter in animals at APHA, and Professor Noel McCarthy at the University of Warwick, who leads in Evidence in Communicable Disease Epidemiology and Control. One year of the project will be with ANSES in France, under the supervision of Dr Isabelle Kempf.

This is a 3 year project, commencing in March 2020. The successful applicant will be registered with the University of Warwick, United Kingdom and will be based at APHA in Surrey. The student will have a 1 year research visit to the Anses Ploufragan-Plouzané-Niort Laboratory in Brittany, France, that is expected to begin in summer 2021. The project will provide opportunities for the student to interact with a multi-disciplinary team of experts at APHA, ANSES and University of Warwick, including microbiologists, epidemiologists, veterinarians, medics and bioinformaticians. The successful candidate will be trained in all relevant microbiology, molecular biology, animal models and bioinformatics techniques, including both wet laboratory and in silico techniques for analysis of whole genome sequence data. The student will gain experience in epidemiological analyses and Campylobacter colonisation models in poultry.

This award provides annual funding to cover UK/EU tuition fees and a tax-free stipend. For students who pay UK/EU tuition fees the award will cover the tuition fees in full, plus at least a £17,000 per year tax-free stipend. Students who pay international tuition fees are eligible to apply, but should note that the award will not cover additional tuition fees required for non-UK/EU students.
The studentship will be awarded on the basis of merit for 3 years of full-time study to commence in March 2020. To apply for the studentship, provide a curriculum vitae and covering letter to Dr John Rodgers/Professor Noel McCarthy (via email to ), by the 9th December 2019. Shortlisted candidates will need to be available for an interview on the 19th December 2019, at the University of Warwick with skype option also available.

Funding Notes

Joint funding from the EU “One Health European Joint Programme” and UK and French national government co-funding for UK/EU fees. International students would need to fund the difference in fee levels.

Joint funding from the EU “One Health European Joint Programme” and UK and French national government co-funding.

The project would be suited to a student with a background in any of the following fields, biology, bioinformatics, epidemiology, veterinary or medical science.

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