Projects

Recruitment to the NRPDTP and iCASE programmes are now open. The deadline for applications is the 27th November 2017.

02 / 10 / 2017

Development of microbiome and immune-based biomarkers of poultry gut health (NARBAD_Q18ICASE2)

how to apply

The animal gastrointestinal tract contains trillions of microbes that play a critical role in their health and wellbeing. Commercial poultry birds are exposed to a range of environmental stressors which have the potential to disturb their gut microbiome and adversely impact gut function and health. This studentship will investigate the impact of environmental stressors on the structure and function of the gut microbiome and immune status with the objective of identifying novel biomarkers of poultry gut health. This will not only give a greater understanding of the gut health complex but also enable the development of novel phenotypes for use in poultry breeding programs to allow selection of birds with improved intestinal robustness when faced with these stressors. Ultimately this project will impact in the area of sustainable food production within the context of high welfare farming with associated potential to reduce the need for antibiotic treatments.

The student will be hosted in the new Quadram Institute(QI) with state-of-the-art facilities for microbiome research. The project will provide stimulating academic research and training environment in QI as well as in the Department of Zoology, University of Oxford where the student will use state of the art immunological methods to assess immune development under the supervision of Prof Adrian Smith. The student will also gain experience of industry relevant research with the CASE partner Aviagen, the world's leading primary poultry breeder. The project will provide excellent training in gut microbiology, microbial ecology, immunology, commercial poultry production and animal welfare that will make the candidate highly suitable for employment in academia or industry.

This project comes with a £1000 per annum enhancement to the RCUK level stipend from the Industrial Partner.