Research Vacancies

SBBS Research Scholarships

The School invites applications for three fully funded PhD positions available from September 2018:  

Project 1: An Investigation of Antibiotic Resistance and Biofilm Formation in Campylobacter jejuni.  PI: Dr Tadhg Ó Croínín

Campylobacter jejuni is the leading cause of bacterial gastroenteritis and has recently been listed by the World Health Organisation as one of 12 priority pathogens with increased resistance to antibiotics. This project focuses on investigating the relationship between resistance to fluoroquinolone antibiotics and changes in DNA supercoiling levels and the effect on biofilm formation by this pathogen. The project will also investigate the relationship between antibiotic resistance and other phenotypes.  Read more     

Project 2: The Role of Cognitive Biases in Biotech Startups Successes and Failures. PI: Dr Antonio Garzon Vico

Areas: Psychology, Philosophy, Business (Organizational Behaviour), Statistics, Text Analytics

Entrepreneurs face many challenges in their everyday work, but some of the most problematic obstacles they face are the tricks played on them by their biases. Biases can lead to entrepreneurs making crucial mistakes, as they can sabotage their ability to collect the right information and assess it properly. Many questions around the role that entrepreneurs’ biases play in startups future performance (i.e. chances of success) remain unanswered. This lack of knowledge is more acute in the context of biotech commercialisation, where no major study has addressed this issue so far. This proposal aims at exploring how entrepreneurs’ biases affect the performance of biotech startups.  Read more  

Project 3: The role of microbiota in the development of colorectal adenomas and colorectal cancer.  PI: Dr. David Hughes

Disturbances to the normal gut microbiota flora (dysbiosis) are increasingly implicated in colorectal cancer (CRC) development. Generally, CRC development is preceded by a precancerous stage of colorectal adenoma (CRA) formation. However, little is currently known on how the microbiota may influence the development of different adenoma types or if they will become cancerous (as most remain benign). The aim of this project is to sequence the microbiome to define the bacteria present in the tissue of different adenomas types and measure serum biomarkers to ascertain two possible mechanisms of microbial-mediated cancer risk, i.e. weakening of the gut-barrier wall and exposure to carcinogenic microbial products. The project will highlight the importance of microbial dysbiosis and function in CRA to CRC aetiology.  Read more  

 Project 4:  Towards development of a novel anti-cancer agent in the treatment of kidney cancer.  PI: Assoc. Prof. Tara McMorrow

Kidney cancer incidence rates are projected to rise by 26% between 2014 and 2035 (1). Current treatment regimes are ineffective against late stage kidney cancer, therefore novel therapies are required. The overall aim of the work is to investigate the anticancer potential of a phytochemical (curcumin) compound. The molecular and functional mechanisms of the anticancer effect of curcumin will be investigated. The anticancer effect of curcumin will also be investigated in an animal model. Furthermore, a PCR array of inflammatory genes will be analysed using samples from curcumin treated kidney cancer cells. Genes identified will be investigated further as potential novel therapeutic strategies in the ACHN kidney cancer model and also in vivo using xenotransplanation techniques in zebrafish.  Read more

Eligibility: Applications are invited from appropriately qualified EU students. Applicants must have a minimum of a 2.1 Honours degree in a relevant biological, biomedical or otherwise specified subject area.  Please see individual project descriptions for further details.

Funding:  The scholarships cover tuition fees at the EU rate (€6945 per annum) and a stipend of €16,000 per annum for four years. Successful candidates will be required to demonstrate in laboratory practical classes on an ongoing basis as part of their funded scholarship.

Enquiries and applications (including CV and cover letter) should be addressed directly to the relevant Principal Investigator. 

Closing date: Please see individual projects