We are currently advertising DTP and CASE studentships for October 2019 start. The deadline for applications is the 26th November 2018.

27 / 09 / 2018

Sharing via secretion: Exploring the role of secretion systems in the early life microbiota member Bifidobacterium (HALL_Q19DTP1)

how to apply

We are looking for a creative and euthanasic PhD candidate to join a dynamic, multi-disciplinary research team investigating the interactions of the host with the intestinal microbiota during the early life developmental window. The Hall lab has 3 main research themes including, microbe-diet interactions, microbe-host cross-talk, and colonisation resistance. For more details visit This Hall lab is based within the Quadram Institute, a new interdisciplinary microbiome and food research Institute (, thus providing an excellent platform for a starting scientific career. Background: Early establishment of beneficial microbiota members, including Bifidobacterium species, positively influences microbial community composition and host immune development. Thus, understanding the factors that modulate these dynamics is pivotal for promoting health. Microbial-derived secreted compounds and metabolites play a critical role in influencing community development, and modulation of immune responses. Recently, a newly defined secretion system; Type 7 secretion system (T7SS), has been described in pathogenic microbes, however there are currently no studies characterising the role of this system and the secreted compounds in beneficial bacteria such as Bifidobacterium. The goal of this PhD studentship is to develop new molecular tools for Bifidobacterium, i.e. innovative CRISPR-Cas9 systems, and use molecular microbiology techniques, model colon systems, next generation sequencing, bioinformatics, and cell culture models to probe the role of the T7SS in microbial community development and immune modulation. This project also involves close collaboration with Prof Hutchings (University of East Anglia) and Prof Palmer (Newcastle University).