Research into novel therapeutics and drug resistance of tropical infectious diseases

This is an exciting opportunity to work in the area of therapeutics and drug resistance of tropical infectious diseases.  Up to 3 CASE PhD studentship projects are available to work one of the following pathogens; Plasmodium falciparum, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Salmonella, N. gonorrhoeae and Chlamydia trachomatis. Therapeutic projects will focus on the identification of novel therapies and combination therapies using new or repurposed drugs.  These projects will focus on drug efficacy and prediction of clinical outcome and prediction of resistance emergence.  The projects will be CASE and involve industry training and overseas placements. 

Where does the project lie on the Translational Pathway?

T1 Basic Research & T2 Human/Clinical Research

Expected Outputs

Publications and proof-of-concept data for grant funding and onward clinical research towards changing practice.


Training Opportunities

Projects and training will be tailored to successful candidates.  Industry placement at EVOTEC laboratories.  Depending on the project external trainining/placement may also include; pharmacodynamics training, Hospital placements for exposure of clinical context of disease (e.g. Malawi or Vietnam) and/or training in clinical microbiology skills (e.g. break points etc), EU/US laboratories Bioinformatics, genomics, Imaging & microfluidics.

Skills Required

Biology/Pharmacology/Pharmacy/Medical background or alternatively a maths-orientated background but from someone with interest in tackling real-life clinical knowledge-gaps/health issues.

Key Publications associated with this project

Ghaith Aljayyoussi G,  Jenkins VA, Sharma R, Ardrey A, Donnellan S, Ward SA, Biagini GA. Pharmacokinetic-Pharmacodynamic modelling of intracellular Mycobacterium tuberculosis growth and kill rates is predictive of clinical treatment duration.  Scientific Reports.  (2017) 7(1):502.


O'Neill, P et al., A tetraoxane-based antimalarial drug candidate that overcomes PfK13-C580Y dependent artemisinin resistance"Nature comm (2017) 8:15159. doi: 10.1038/ncomms15159.


Ismail HM, Barton V, Phanchana M, Charoensutthivarakul S, Wong MH, Hemingway J, Biagini GA, O'Neill PM, Ward SA. Artemisinin activity-based probes identify multiple molecular targets within the asexual stage of the malaria parasites Plasmodium falciparum 3D7. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. (2016) 113(8):2080-5.

Ullah I, Sharma R, Biagini GA, Horrocks P. A validated bioluminescence-based assay for the rapid determination of the initial rate of kill for discovery antimalarials. J Antimicrob Chemother. 2016 Dec 20. pii: dkw449. doi: 10.1093/jac/dkw449.


LSTM Themes and Topics – Key Words

Malaria, lung health and TB, resistance research and management

Deadline: Thursday 11th February 2021; 12:00 noon GMT

Further details on the MRC/DTP and CASE programmes and application guidance and process can be found here