How does metabolic heterogeneity drive antibiotic tolerance/resistance in Mycobacterium tuberculosis

How Mycobacterium tuberculosis resists antibiotic killing.

Start date

1 October 2022


3.5 years

Application deadline

Funding source

EPSRC Doctoral Training Partnership

Funding information

Enhanced EPSRC stipend (£19,062 per annum for 2022-23, with annual increments based on inflation) and fees covered. Funding also includes a research training and support grant of £3,000 for the duration of the studentship.


Summary: Tuberculosis, caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis, remains a leading cause of infectious death globally. Alternative TB treatments are urgently required to counter the global spread of drug resistance that is thwarting the control of tuberculosis. The goal of this PhD research project is to develop methods to study metabolic heterogeneity and its impact on the development of antibiotic tolerance/resistance. A detailed understanding of these processes will guide potential new treatment strategies and the development of new drugs

This inter-disciplinary PhD project will apply a state-of-the-art experimental approaches to test our hypothesis that metabolic heterogeneity plays a pivotal role in determining antibiotic efficacy.

Impact: The results from these studies will guide potential new treatment strategies desperately needed to control the ongoing tuberculosis pandemic. This work can also be applied towards new understanding of how cells function, infectious disease, metabolic engineering, and beyond.

Skills: Training will be provided in several areas of mycobacteriology, molecular biology, including working at containment level 3 and state-of-the-art bioanalytical chemistry in research groups which have an excellent track record of success in these areas. The student will become an active member of the tuberculosis research community at the University of Surrey attending meetings, journal clubs and presentations and will benefit from mentorship from other research scientists here. Additional opportunities will include bespoke training courses, a scientific writing retreat, public outreach events and support to present their research at conferences, all of which will facilitate future career development.

The University of Surrey and our collaborative partners provide a vibrant, interdisciplinary research environment, with access to state-of-the-art facilities.  We see our postgraduate researchers as an integral part of our research community, collaborating and innovating together with academics at all levels. We want the most talented researchers from diverse backgrounds to join us, bringing new ideas and perspectives. We will help you make the most of your potential, removing barriers where we can and supporting you with dedicated career guidance. We offer generous funding packages, sector-leading researcher development training and mentoring, and dedicated employability support.

Whatever your aspirations, Surrey is where research careers are launched and nurtured.

Related links

Methods to understand how tuberculosis bacillus consumes some of its favourite …

Eligibility criteria

Applicants are expected to hold a good honours degree (upper second) in an appropriate discipline, but prior experience in research or industry may be acceptable. Enthusiasm for, and commitment to, independent study is essential.

English Language requirements 

IELTS Academic: 6.5 or above (or equivalent) with 6 in each individual category.

How to apply

Applications should be submitted via the Biosciences and Medicine PhD programme page on the "Apply" tab (select October 2022 start date). Please clearly state the studentship title and supervisor on your application. Once you have completed and submitted your application, please send an email to the primary supervisors confirming you have applied.

Studentship FAQs

Read our studentship FAQs to find out more about applying and funding.

Application deadline

Contact details

Dany Beste
02 AX 01
Telephone: +44 (0)1483 686785


Section of Bacteriology

Relevant publications

Borah, K. et al. Metabolic fluxes for nutritional flexibility of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Mol Sys Biol 17, e10280, doi: (2021).

Basu, P. et al. The anaplerotic node is essential for the intracellular survival of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. J Biol Chem 293, 5695-5704, doi:10.1074/jbc.RA118.001839 (2018).

Borah, K. et al. Intracellular Mycobacterium tuberculosis Exploits Multiple Host Nitrogen Sources during Growth in Human Macrophages. Cell Rep 29, 3580-3591 e3584, doi:10.1016/j.celrep.2019.11.037 (2019).

de Jesus, J. M. et al. Correlative Imaging of Trace Elements and Intact Molecular Species in a Single-Tissue Sample at the 50 μm Scale. Analytical Chemistry 93, 13450-13458, doi:10.1021/acs.analchem.1c01927 (2021).

Lewis, H.-M. et al. Nanoextraction Coupled to Liquid Chromatography Mass Spectrometry Delivers Improved Spatially Resolved Analysis. Analytical Chemistry 91, 15411-15417, doi:10.1021/acs.analchem.9b02821 (2019).


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