This project will exploit multi-omics approaches and experimentally tractable nematode systems to characterise the natural AMP-driven defence mechanisms of parasitic nematodes.
Parasitic nematodes (PNs) inflict a burden on global human and animal health, welfare and economy. This is exacerbated by accelerating drug resistance, threatening the sustainability of PN control. The development of new chemotherapies, that exploit novel mechanisms of action, is urgently required. Antimicrobial Peptides (AMPs) are natural immune molecules found in all classes of life. Many invertebrates possess a rich library of AMPs that exhibit broad spectrum activity against pathogenic microbes in-vitro. Unfortunately, despite the extreme microbial environmental niches that many PNs inhabit, we have a limited understanding of the diversity, importance and biological role of the PN antimicrobial peptidome. Interrogation of the complexity and biological significance of nematode-derived AMPs in parasites will drive novel opportunities for nematode pathogen control. This proposal will harness multi-omics approaches including bioinformatics, peptidomics and functional genomics in experimentally tractable, and veterinary-relevant, PNs to interrogate AMP biology and support the discovery of innovative approaches for the control of nematode pathogens of livestock.
Start Date: 1 October 2022
Duration: 3 years
How to apply: Applications must be submitted via: https://dap.qub.ac.uk/portal/user/u_login.php
Skills/experience required: Molecular biology experience and/or training in bioinformatics, functional genomics and peptidomics are desirable, but are not essential. Training will be provided as necessary during the project.
Note: This project is in competition for DfE funding with a number of other projects. A selection process will determine the strongest candidates across the range of projects, who may then be offered funding for their chosen project.