Understanding the Host-Pathogen interaction of Hepatitis E virus in pigs

This project will comprehensively test different vaccine approaches against HEV in pigs, applying a range of methods from measuring Abs to the protective signature in the liver.

Start date

1 April 2024

Duration

3 years

Application deadline

Funding information

UKRI standard stipend - £18,622 for 2023-24. 

About

This project will comprehensively test different vaccine approaches against HEV in pigs, applying a range of methods from measuring Abs to the protective signature in the liver. The hypothesis is that the vaccines may not be able to prevent infection, but to reduce HEV replication to an extend that onward transmission between pigs would no longer be possible. To that extent the approaches to investigate the above concept are as follows: 

  • Use of an oral vaccine, a parantal vaccine, and the combination of the above – as prime/boost approach.
  • In all cases the project will analyse the levels and quality of Abs generated. 
  • The project will further analyse the induction of T cells by the vaccine – such analysis will be undertaken via liver and gut samples (locally) as well as systemically (in blood). The project can use flow cytometry, RNASeq or scRNASeq to demonstrate the full spectrum of functional T cells induced. 

The most promising candidate approach will then also be used for a challenge study.

Eligibility criteria

You will need to meet the minimum entry requirements for our Veterinary Medince and Science PhD programme

In addition, you will have to be resident in the UK for at least two, ideally 3 years (at the time of application) to meet the requirement for additional security clearances required to carry out work as part of this project.

How to apply

Applications should be submitted via the Veterinary Medince and Science PhD programme page. In place of a research proposal you should upload a document stating the title of the project that you wish to apply for and the name of the relevant supervisor.

Veterinary Medince and Science PhD

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Application deadline

Contact details

Falko Steinbach
01 VSM 02
Telephone: +44 (0)1483 682315
E-mail: f.steinbach@surrey.ac.uk
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