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Postgraduate Research Opportunity: A Decision-support Modelling Toolset for Anthrax Infection and Treatment

University of Leeds

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Leeds
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students
Funding amount: Please see details below
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 18th December 2018
Closes: 28th February 2019

Value: EPSRC CASE COMPETITION Studentship funded by EPSRC and the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl). This Includes UK/EU fees (£4,400 Session 2018/19 rate), maintenance (£17,777 Session 2018/19 rate) and funding for consumables for 3.5 years. UK applicants will be eligible for a full award paying tuition fees and maintenance. European Union applicants will be eligible for an award paying tuition fees only, except in exceptional circumstances, or where residency has been established for more than 3 years prior to the start of the course.

Number of awards: 1

Deadline: 28 February 2019

Key benefits: During the project, the post-graduate student is expected to make a three-week visit to Dstl at least once per academic year.


Contact Professor Carmen Molina-Paris to discuss this project further informally.

Project description

The aim of this PhD project is to develop an anthrax modelling toolset, which can be used to inform hazard assessment, operational analysis and medical counter-measure studies.

The toolset will consist of two principal modules:

  1. Human infection module: a within-host mechanistic model of the infection process of anthrax within humans will be developed (bacterial growth and toxin production). This module will predict the probability of infection and the time to symptoms for an individual exposed to a given dose of anthrax. Published data from animal models (primarily primate) will be leveraged, together with available human clinical case data.
  2. Medical treatment module: a within-host mechanistic model of the effect of a range of treatments (e.g., different varieties of antibiotic) will be developed, allowing different dosing strategies to be tested. Published pharmacokinetic data will be leveraged in model development.

These two modules will be integrated to provide a tool that can be used to predict the consequences of a deliberate aerosol release of anthrax, and to investigate optimal treatment strategies in both military and civilian contexts. The toolset will allow different medical countermeasures to be tested in silico and will also allow alternative scenarios, such as antibiotic resistance, to be explored.

Entry requirements

Applications are invited from candidates with or expecting a minimum of a UK upper second class honours degree (2:1) or equivalent, and/ or a Master's degree in mathematics or physics.

If English is not your first language, you must provide evidence that you meet the University’s minimum English Language requirements.

How to apply

Formal applications for research degree study should be made online through the university's website. Please state clearly in the research information section that the PhD you wish to be considered for is 'A decision-support modelling toolset for anthrax infection and treatment’ as well as Professor Carmen Molina-Paris as your proposed supervisor.

We welcome scholarship applications from all suitably-qualified candidates, but UK black and minority ethnic (BME) researchers are currently under-represented in our Postgraduate Research community, and we would therefore particularly encourage applications from UK BME candidates. All scholarships will be awarded on the basis of merit.

If you require any further information please contact the Graduate School Office, e:

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