PhD Position: Potential of Membrane-Bound and Lipid-Associated Interferon Stimulated Genes in Regulating Influenza Virus Infections

Closes: 9 February 2024
About the Programme

NorthWestBio (NWB)  is a new BBSRC-funded Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) delivered between the Universities of Glasgow, Lancaster, Queen’s Belfast and Strathclyde. Each partner has proven expertise in research that addresses global challenges and provides access to outstanding research facilities and infrastructure. The programme is further enriched through our associated partners iBioIC, the Moredun Research Institute and the James Hutton Institute, expanding the collaborative options for joint PhD projects, industrial connectivity and entrepreneurship and placements.


Innate immune responses are fundamental to establish ubiquitous and non-specific protection against invading pathogens. In order to understand the innate response in influenza susceptible hosts mediated by membrane-bound and lipid-associated interferon stimulated genes (ISGs), we have established excellent cell culture models, reverse genetic systems and screening platforms. In this proposal, to further our capabilities, we aim to dissect molecular events involved in the pathobiology of influenza viruses and to use the recent technological advances such as high throughput screening platforms. The mechanistic gain-in-function and loss-in-function global animal ISGs profiling will allow us to underpin essential host-pathogen interactions mediated by hundreds of ISGs and their exploitation in virus propagation and vaccine production. Our application, at the interface between virology, immunology and bioinformatics, develops an interdisciplinary collaboration between LU and QUB.

The student, who will have the opportunity to work in QUB, and LU will receive extensive training in state-of-the-art molecular virology, and host-pathogen interaction. Student will have opportunity to learn zoonotic aspect of influenza viruses in three highly susceptible animals including chicken, pigs, and humans. Supervisor at LU is consultant for two pharmaceuticals and is chief scientific offer for 3 LU spinout, student will have the opportunity to learn translation aspect of the research outcome for example genetically modified cell line to enhance vaccine production. The student will liaise with key stakeholders across the health sectors as well as presenting their work at both national and international symposia.


Muhammad Munir, Virology and Viral Zoonoses, Lancaster University

Connor G G Bamford, Belfast School of Biological Sciences/Institute for Global Food Security, Queen's University Belfast

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