press release
Published: 29 June 2020

University of Surrey receives funding from prestigious organisation for two PhD studentships

The University of Surrey has received full funding for two PhD studentships from the Lorna and Yuti Chernajovsky Biomedical Research Foundation.

Student looking through a microscope
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The prestigious foundation funds pioneering research into the creation of new targeted medicines to improve health. Each studentship will last three years and will be under the supervision of two leading Surrey academics Professor John McVey and Dr Carlos Maluquer de Motes.

The studentship under the direction of Professor McVey will investigate the interaction of the enzyme, factor X (FX) responsible for blood clotting, and how it interacts with the adenovirus. Viruses such as adenovirus are commonly used in gene therapy with the therapeutic gene inserted into the viral genome taking advantage of the virus’s ability to infect cells and replicate.

Knowledge gained from this will help in the development of novel FX variants which can manipulate the virus for the purpose of gene therapy.

How to enhance the immune responses induced by vaccinia virus will be the subject of the second PhD position supervised by Dr Maluquer de Motes. Vaccinia virus was the virus used to eradicate smallpox and holds enormous potential as a vaccine platform for other infectious diseases and cancer. This project will use current information on how vaccinia virus modulates the host immune response to develop novel strategies to improve the immunogenicity and vaccine potential of the vaccinia virus.  

John McVey, Head of Department of Biochemical Sciences, and Professor of Cardiovascular Biology at the University of Surrey, said: “I am delighted that the university has been awarded two PhD studentships to undertake research which will improve public health. Both Dr Maluquer De Motes and I are looking forward to supervising these positions and to see what they uncover.”


Find out more about the PhD studentship under the supervision of Professor John McVey.

Find out more about the PhD studentship under the supervision of Dr Carlos Maluquer de Motes.

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