A combined computational and wet lab approach to understand autophagy regulation during infection (KORCSMAROS_E17DTP2)

University of East Anglia - School of Biological Sciences

Start Date: 1st October 2017

No. of positions available: 1

Supervisor: Dr Tamas Korcsmaros 

Project description: 
Systems biology has revolutionized our way of thinking about biological systems. Network representation has furthered our understanding of how changes in cellular processes can lead to complex diseases, such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and cancer. For example, autophagy (self-eating), which is important to degrade unwanted cellular compartments, was found to be regulated by various molecular networks. Interestingly, autophagy not only degrades damaged host molecules but also intracellular pathogens. Conversely, autophagy is often manipulated by various pathogenic bacteria, such as Salmonella. Deregulation of autophagy can often lead to cancer progression. Better understanding the effect of certain bacterial species, particularly pathogens such as Salmonella, on the regulation of human intestinal autophagy could help us to propose IBD and colon cancer prognosis markers.

In this PhD project, the student will work under the primary supervision of Tamas Korcsmaros, EI/IFR Computational Biology Fellow, to examine the effect of Salmonella genes on the host signalling network, especially on those pathways that control host autophagy in the gut. The PhD student will have opportunity to learn novel technologies, programming languages, and experimental techniques to grow and develop to be a happy, independent and successful researcher in the field of systems biology. In the former group of the primary supervisor, several students have already been successfully trained to carry out computational works independently and publish several papers in leading journals, indicating the availability of necessary training experience. The student will also receive training at the IFR on basic microbiology and molecular biology techniques as well as fluorescence microscopy studies.

Person specification: Minimum entry 2:1

Funding notes: Full Studentships cover a stipend (RCUK rate: £14,296pa – 2016/7), research costs and tuition fees at UK/EU rate, and are available to UK and EU students who meet the UK residency requirements.

Students from EU countries who do not meet the UK residency requirements may be eligible for a fees-only award. Students in receipt of a fees-only award will be eligible for a maintenance stipend awarded by the NRPDTP Bioscience Doctoral Scholarships, which when combined will equal a full studentship. To be eligible students must meet the EU residency requirements.

Details on eligibility for funding on the BBSRC website: www.bbsrc.ac.uk/web/FILES/Guidelines/studentship_eligibility.pdf

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South East England