PhD Studentship: Targeting bacterial virulence (WILKINSON_J17DTP1)

University of East Anglia - School of Biological Sciences

Start Date:  1st October 2017

Supervisor: Prof. Barrie Wilkinson

Project description:

Macrophage interactivity potentiator (MIP) proteins are virulence factors which modulate the pathogenicity of several Gram-negative bacteria including Legionella and Burkholderia. We recently showed that MIPs are important for key virulence phenotypes in the opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa. This proposal will extend these studies and investigate the role of MIPs as virulence factors in the plant pathogen Pseudomonas syringae DC3000. The successful candidate will take a combined genetic and chemical biology approach, including the study of new MIP inhibitors produced in our lab and through collaboration with a biotechnology company. Targeting bacterial virulence mechanisms, rather than using compounds that kill or inhibit their growth, may be less likely to select for resistant organisms when compared to molecules which kill or inhibit the growth of bacteria.

The student will be co-supervised by Dr Jacob Malone, a leading Pseudomonas biologist, in whose lab they will study the mutants and inhibitors using a range of cellular and in planta assays. They will be hosted at the world renowned John Innes Centre which will provide cutting-edge research facilities as well as a stimulating research and training environment. They will be part of an interdisciplinary team spanning two laboratories and through the project they will gain an excellent foundation in molecular microbiology, microbial ecology, synthetic biology, chemical biology and enzymology. There will be opportunities to interact with industry and other research institutes. The combination of skills and experience provided by this studentship will make the successful candidate highly employable in academia and industry.

Person specification:  Minimum entry 2:1

Funding notes: Full Studentships cover a stipend (RCUK rate: £14,296 pa – 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:

Share this PhD
  Share by Email   Print this job   More sharing options
We value your feedback on the quality of our adverts. If you have a comment to make about the overall quality of this advert, or its categorisation then please send us your feedback
Advert information

Type / Role:


Subject Area(s):


South East England