Understanding the molecular basis for zoonosis of hepatitis E virus

   Faculty of Biological Sciences

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  Dr M.R. Herod, Prof N J Stonehouse, Prof M Harris  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

The recent coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the importance of understanding how viruses can cross barrier between species. Hepatitis E virus (HEV) can be transmitted to humans via animal species such as pigs and deer (e.g. through the consumption of contaminated meat). Other animal viruses, such as foot-and-mouth disease virus, are uniquely able to replicate in multiple animal species such as cattle, pigs, sheep and deer.

This project aims to study the features of the HEV genome that enable replication between species. Using viral and replicon systems, we will use saturating mutagenesis with nanopore-based sequencing to identify regions of the viral RNA genome that required for replication in multiple cell types. We will then exploit recently developed epitope-labelled constructs in combination with proteomics, and live-cell imaging to work out the host-cell interactions which permit cross species replication of HEV and related viruses.


You should hold a first degree equivalent to at least a UK upper-second class honours degree or a MSc degree in a relevant subject.

Applicants whose first language is not English must provide evidence that their English language is sufficient to meet the specific demands of their study. The Faculty of Biological Sciences minimum requirements in IELTS and TOEFL tests are:

  • British Council IELTS - score of 6.0 overall, with no element less than 5.5
  • TOEFL iBT - overall score of 87 with the listening and reading element no less than 20, writing element no less than 21 and the speaking element no less than 22.

How to apply:

To apply for this project applicants should complete an online application form and attach the following documentation to support their application. 

  • a full academic CV
  • degree certificate and transcripts of marks
  • Evidence that you meet the University's minimum English language requirements (if applicable).

To help us identify that you are applying for this studentship please ensure you provide the following information on your application form;

  • Select PhD in Biological Sciences as your programme of study
  • When asked for source of funding please make it clear that you are applying for a "White Rose BBSRC DTP Studentship"
  • Give the full project title and name the supervisors listed in this advert. You can be considered for up to 3 projects in total.

If you have any further queries regarding this opportunity, please contact [Email Address Removed]

Biological Sciences (4)

Funding Notes

This opportunity is funded by the White Rose BBSRC DTP and will attract an annual tax-free stipend of £17,668 (based on the 2022/23 rate). The award will also cover academic fees. This opportunity is available to UK and International fee rated applicants. Please note that any expenses related to the relocation of international students to the UK (visa, insurance, NHS fees, flights, etc) would be their responsibility and are not covered by this award.

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