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Estimating the evolutionary history of plasmids and viruses

In the case of cellular life - bacteria, archaea and eukaryotes - determining the 'tree of life' is a comparatively well-studied problem.This vertical evolutionary history can be estimated using concatenated gene phylogenies, where single copy marker genes are concatenated into a single multiple sequence alignment which is then used in a phylogenetic tree reconstruction algorithm.Viral genomes and plasmid sequences, meanwhile, are more challenging to fit into a phylogenetic framework.

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy, Honours
Faculty
Faculty of Health
School
School of Biomedical Sciences
Research centre(s)

Centre for Microbiome Research

Testing of novel antibiotic-loaded nanoparticles for treatment of Chlamydia infection

C. trachomatis, sexually transmitted infections of both the female and male human reproductive tract, affects approximately 127 million people globally each year. The major concerning sequela of C. trachomatis infection is infertility in both men and women. This occurs by damaging the upper reproductive tracts, the ovaries and testes most importantly.The majority of research has been focussed on female disease, and male disease has been underestimated and understudied, particularly therapeutics for male infections. Antibiotic therapy is the only therapy currently …

Study level
Master of Philosophy, Honours
Faculty
Faculty of Health
School
School of Biomedical Sciences

Infection kinetic changes that occur within macrophage-adapted Chlamydia

Chlamydia trachomatis is an obligate intracellular, bacterial pathogen. C. trachomatis infections of the human reproductive tract affect approximately 127 million people globally each year. The major concern of C. trachomatis infections is their ability to cause infertility in both men and women, by damaging the upper reproductive tracts. However, we are still lacking information about how Chlamydia travels around the reproductive tract, and reaches the upper tract (ovaries and testes in particular) to cause this damage.Recent research has shown that …

Study level
Master of Philosophy, Honours
Faculty
Faculty of Health
School
School of Biomedical Sciences

Understanding capsular polysaccharide diversity is key to next generation therapies for multi-drug resistant Acinetobacter baumannii infections

Bacteriophage therapy is an attractive innovative treatment for infections caused by extensively drug resistant Acinetobacter baumannii, for which there are few effective antibiotic treatments remaining.Capsular polysaccharide (CPS) is a primary receptor for lytic bacteriophage, thus knowledge of the chemical structures of CPS produced by the species underpins the identification of suitable phage for therapeutic cocktails.As many phage depolymerases cleave a specific CPS linkage formed by either a glycosyltransferase or polymerase enzyme, characterisation of these proteins are essential.However, these remain largely …

Study level
PhD
Faculty
Faculty of Health
School
School of Biomedical Sciences
Research centre(s)

Centre for Immunology and Infection Control

Phase separation and atmospheric water exchange in droplet nuclei

Several PhD positions are available for motivated individuals to investigate phase separation and glassy state formation inside airborne droplet nuclei and its impact on water uptake and loss during atmospheric transport.Marine and continental atmospheric aerosols play an important role in the global climate hydrological cycle while respiratory aerosols released during breathing speech and coughing are responsible for the airborne transmission of human respiratory viral infections such as SARS-CoV-2. These processes can limit the availability of cloud seeding nuclei with implications …

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy
Faculty
Faculty of Science
School
School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences

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