PhD Studentship - Discovering new drugs for Mycobacterium abscessus infections in children

Birmingham, United Kingdom
Jan 03, 2019
Feb 02, 2019
Contract Type
Full Time
Job Type
PhD / Doctoral
Main Supervisor: Dr Jonathan Cox; Associate Supervisor: Prof Peter Lambert

Applications are invited from candidates to undertake a PhD in the field of microbiology. The candidate will join the Mycobacterial Research Group at Aston University in a collaborative project with Birmingham Children's Hospital to identify new antibiotics and their respective mechanisms of action against Mycobacterium abscessus . This organism is a rapidly growing, non-tuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) species that has recently emerged as a significant pathogen in the developed world, infecting around 6% of UK, 13% of European and 16% of USA cystic fibrosis (CF) patients. M. abscessus infection has been linked to poor clinical outcomes in the CF population particularly in children and patients undergoing lung transplantation and is widely regarded as one of the most drug-resistant mycobacteria, exhibiting high levels of intrinsic drug resistance to most classes of antibiotics. To date, the group has identified around 20 drug-like small molecule inhibitors of M. abscessus each of which requires detailed investigation to discover the mechanism of action in order to discover new drug targets and refine these compounds into clinically relevant antibiotics. This PhD studentship would focus on mechanism of action identification, clinical isolate screening and combination-drug testing of these new compounds in order to provide M. abscessus -targeted antibiotics to improve treatment outcomes and halt the progression of antibiotic resistance.

Aston University was ranked 5th out of 94 UK Higher Education Institutions for research in Allied Health Professions (REF 2014) and was ranked 1st for research environment. Additional information about research in the School can be found at . Informal enquiries can be made to Dr Jonathan Cox at .

Financial Support:

The studentship is open to Home/EU students only and comprises of a tax-free stipend at the 2018/19 RCUK rate of £14,777 per annum and payment of Home/EU tuition fees only. The studentship is available for three years, subject to satisfactory progress review at the end of the first year, with an anticipated registration of April 2019.

Application Requirements:

Eligible Applicants should hold at least a Bachelor (Hons.) Degree of either 1st Class/ 2.1 or MSc/MRes in a relevant subject.

EU Applicants will need to demonstrate adequate proficiency in English Language skills, with a minimum overall score of 93 (Internet Based) (with a minimum score in each section of: R: 18, W: 23, L: 19 and S: 19) in TOEFL or IELTS with minimum marks of 6.0 in each section and an overall band of 6.5.

To apply, please complete the on-line application form at: , choosing 'Research Full-time Biomedical Sciences - April 2019'. (Please select this under the 'Entry Month of All '). Please quote Reference: 'PhD_April 2019_Cox' on your application.

The Closing Date for All Applications is: Sunday 27 th January 2019
Email details to a friend

Further particulars and application forms are available in alternative formats on request i.e. large print, Braille, tape or CD Rom.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact HR via