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Toward a low-cost, rapid point-of-care biosensor for detection of Antibiotic Resistant Urinary Tract Infections


   Faculty of Health: Medicine, Dentistry & Human Sciences

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  Dr Tina Joshi  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

Plymouth United Kingdom Epidemiology Medical Physics Microbiology Molecular Biology

About the Project

Director of Studies: Dr Tina Joshi ([Email Address Removed])

2nd Supervisor Prof Mathew Upton ([Email Address Removed])

3rd Supervisor Dr Stephen Hodge ([Email Address Removed])

Applications are invited for a three-year PhD studentship available at the Dr Tina Joshi group, School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Plymouth, U.K.

The studentship will start on 1st January 2022.

Project Description

This exciting, industrially focused project combines the disciplines of clinical and molecular microbiology with biophysics to address one of the greatest threats to human health. You will become a key part of the team developing a graphene-based DNA sensor to help clinicians select the correct antibiotic to treat patients with. By 2050 it is estimated that 10 million people worldwide will die as a result of being infected with antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Improving the accuracy of antibiotic prescriptions will be a key aspect of the solution to this Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) crisis: in the UK nearly one third of all antibiotics are prescribed unnecessarily. Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) are the most common cause of over prescribing. This project has been designed to support the development of an innovative and rapid point-of-care diagnostic to guide antibiotic prescribing for UTIs and reduce inappropriate antibiotic use.

This interdisciplinary project will focus on development, design and clinical validation of a biosensor assay specifically for UTIs using molecular probes. Molecular probes will be integrated into a state-of-the-art graphene-based biosensing system being developed by the industrial project partner and will be validated against clinical samples in collaboration with clinicians. This PhD studentship is at the interface between engineering, materials science and microbiology, potentially contributing to a new era of precision medicine to improve patient care and public health.

The PhD candidate will collaborate with researchers and industry across this range of disciplines, and develop a unique multidisciplinary skill set that will encompass phenotypic microbiology, microbial genomics and bioinformatics, imaging, molecular microbiology and biophysical techniques. We are an inclusive, diverse laboratory and welcome all applications.

Eligibility

Applicants should have a first or upper second class honours degree in an appropriate subject and preferably a relevant Masters qualification.

The studentship is supported for 3 years and includes full Home tuition fees plus a stipend of £15,609 per annum (2021/22 rate). The studentship will only fully fund those applicants who are eligible for Home fees with relevant qualifications. Applicants normally required to cover International fees will have to cover the difference between the Home and the International tuition fee rates (approximately £12,697 per annum).

If you wish to discuss this project further informally, please feel free to contact Dr Tina Joshi at [Email Address Removed].

For further information on research studentships at the University of Plymouth and to apply for this position please visit: https://www.plymouth.ac.uk/student-life/your-studies/research-degrees/postgraduate-research-studentships and select the studentship you would like to apply for. Please clearly state the name of the studentship that you are applying for on your personal statement.

Please see here for a list of supporting documents to upload with your application.

For more information on the admissions process generally, please contact [Email Address Removed].

The closing date for applications is 12 noon on Tuesday 19th October 2021. Shortlisted candidates will be invited for interview week beginning 8th November 2021, with the interview date planned for Friday 12th November 2021.

We regret that we may not be able to respond to all applications. Applicants who have not received a response within six weeks of the closing date should consider their application has been unsuccessful on this occasion.


Funding Notes

The studentship is supported for 3 years and includes full Home tuition fees plus a stipend of £15,609 per annum (2021/22 rate). The studentship will only fully fund those applicants who are eligible for Home fees with relevant qualifications. Applicants normally required to cover International fees will have to cover the difference between the Home and the International tuition fee rates (approximately £12,697 per annum).