Applications are open for a fully funded collaborative project between The Pirbright Institute, The University of Edinburgh and the Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut.
Project Title: Functional characterisation of foot-and-mouth virus replication in mammalian cell lines
Anticipated Start Date: January 2018 Duration: 3.5 years full-time
Closing Date: 6th October 2017
Principal supervisors: Julian Seago, The Pirbright Institute; Jürgen Haas, University of Edinburgh; Michael Eschbaumer, Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut; Martin Beer, Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut
Co-Supervisor: Toby Tuthill, The Pirbright Institute
Foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) is a highly infectious viral pathogen that causes foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) in cloven-hoofed animals. FMD has a major economic impact globally and is a considerable threat to food security.
FMDV is a non-enveloped, single-stranded positive-sense RNA virus in the genus Aphthovirus of the family Picornaviridae. FMDV has a small genome and therefore relies on multifunctional viral proteins and cellular factors to replicate. In vitro studies have shown that a range of mammalian cell lines from different species are permissible to FMDV infection and replication. However, many of the interactions between host and viral proteins that facilitate this replication remain unidentified. Similarly, the antiviral responses triggered following infection of these cell lines, and their effects on viral replication, is yet to be determined.
This project will help to fill these knowledge gaps by 1) determining the ability of FMDV to replicate in different mammalian cell lines, 2) characterising the innate IFN response to infection and 3) identifying the host proteins required for viral replication. The project will provide fundamental knowledge of FMDV replication that will be of major benefit to the picornavirus research community and strengthen collaborative links. The work could also inform the rational development of novel control strategies and enhance vaccine production.
Aside from the presence of a suitable receptor for infection, a number of factors influence the ability and efficiency of FMDV replication in mammalian cells. These include the effectiveness of the host’s innate immune responses and the ability of the virus to evade these, as well as the capacity of the virus to efficiently orchestrate the re-arrangement of cellular membranes to carry out viral replication and utilisation of the host’s translation machinery.
The aims of this project are to identify host factors which regulate FMDV replication in mammalian cell lines:
References for Background Reading:
Registration, Training and Funding:
This is a fully funded collaborative project between The Pirbright Institute, The University of Edinburgh and the Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut (FLI). The student will be based at The Pirbright Institute, UK, and registered with the University of Edinburgh, with visits to meet their university supervisor and undertake training as required. In addition the student will be expected to spend a period of 6-12 months at FLI, Germany. Eligible students will receive a minimum annual stipend of £14,553 and university registration fees will be paid. A full range of research and transferrable skills training will be made available to the student as appropriate.
How to apply:
Your application will only be considered if we have received the following documents:
Please email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Further information regarding the partner institutions can be found at: