August 2012

Applications Invited for M.Sc. (Research) in Centre for Research in Infectious Diseases

Fri, 24 August 12 09:00 Paul Harkin

Medical Collage

NB: Application process is now closed

Despite repeated exposure to HIV-1, certain individuals remain uninfected. In the mid-90’s, this decreased susceptibility to infection was shown to be, at least partly, explained by homozygosity for a 32 base pair deletion in the gene for the HIV-1 coreceptor CCR51,2.

This deletion is relatively common in northern Europeans, however, is extremely rare in Asians and Africans where HIV-1 seronegativity, despite multiple exposure, has also been documented suggesting the existence of additional genetic susceptibility factors to HIV-1 infection in other human populations.  

Previously, as part of a larger project, the Ireland-Vietnam Blood-Borne Virus Initiative (IVVI), we have identified a number of novel mutations in the HIV-1 coreceptor gene CCR5 in exposed, HIV-1 seronegative individuals in Vietnam which were intriguingly associated with HIV-1 gp120 loop motifs indicative of binding to the alternative HIV-1 coreceptor, CXCR43. This project will functionally characterise these novel CCR5 mutants and their effect on surface expression in cultured cells and the impact on HIV-1 infection in vitro. 

A salary and tuition fees in full will be covered as part of a studentship for the successful candidate who should hold at least a 2.1 degree in a biomedical science.  Alternatively the project would suit individuals with a clinical background in infectious disease who wanted to develop research skills in an exciting and challenging area. Informal enquiries or requests for further information are encouraged by email to Professor William W. Hall; with cc. to and

  • Cannon P, June C. Chemokine receptor 5 knockout strategies. Curr Opin HIV AIDS. 2011; 6:74-9.
  • Didigu CA, Doms RW. Novel approaches to inhibit HIV entry. Viruses. 2012; 4:309-24.
  • Luu QP et al. HIV Type 1 Coreceptor Tropism, CCR5 Genotype, and Integrase Inhibitor Resistance Profiles in Vietnam: Implications for the Introduction of New Antiretroviral Regimens. AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 2012 (in press). 

Published on 24/08/12