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5th January 2017 PhD Studentship Opportunity


PhD Studentship Opportunity to study Airway damage in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: a consequence of microbial dysbiosis at the University of Leicester NIHR Biomedical Research Unit and Leicester Precision Medicine Institute with Prof Chris Brightling (pictured above). 


Project details

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is an important cause of morbidity and mortality, and is predicted to become the 3rd leading cause of mortality worldwide by 2030. COPD is a heterogeneous disease and current diagnostic criteria do not integrate the complex pathological changes occurring within lung or considered host-environment interactions. 

We have reported the largest study of the airway microbiome in COPD and found that increased airway inflammation is closely associated with proteobacteria, but whether this is a consequence or cause of airway damage is unclear. We hypothesise that the COPD pheno(endo)type with proteobacteria predominant airway ecology is associated with airway inflammation and the development of airway damage.

This proposal will extend our understanding of the stability of the airway microbiome and determine host-environment interactions in COPD to determine the importance of co-existent proteobacterial predominant airway ecology in disease progression. This will impact on understanding of pathophysiology of disease and might translate into future precision medicine approaches to modulate the airway microbiome in COPD to alter future risk.


The successful student will be trained in cutting-edge molecular microbiology, data science in integration of multi-scale ‘omics and its clinical translation in a common lung disease.  


For more info visit  http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/schools/mds-graduate-school/scholarships/mrc-impact/apply.aspx