Postgraduate research opportunities Development of a vaccine against leishmaniasis


Key facts

  • Opens: Monday 17 February 2020
  • Number of places: 1
  • Duration: 36 Months


Leishmaniasis is a serious health threat. Current there is no clinical vaccine. This project will build on pervious studies to develop a recombinant protein vaccine to protects against leishmaniasis.
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2:1 Honours degree or overseas equivalent

THE Awards 2019: UK University of the Year Winner
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Project Details

Leishmaniasis is a disease caused by infection with the protozoan parasite Leishmania, which is transmitted by female sand flies. The type of disease caused by the parasite depends on the infecting species and the host’s immune response but three main forms occur, cutaneous, mucocutaneous and visceral leishmaniasis. The World Health Organisation estimates that 350 million people, living in 98 countries, are at risk of contracting leishmaniasis, and each year approximately 1.5 million new cases of cutaneous and 500,000 of visceral leishmaniasis are reported. In terms of disease burden, leishmaniasis is responsible for 2,357,000 DALYs (Disability-Adjusted Life Years) lost due to ill effects caused by the disease. We have shown that is it possible to protect against Leishmania infection by using gamma glutamyl cysteine synthetase as a vaccine candidate.   We will continue our studies to develop an oral on inhalable anti-Leishmania vaccine.


Techniques to be used:

Recombinant DNA technology, aseptic tissue culture techniques, parasite maintenance, IVIS imaging and immunological assays e.g. immune responses using ELISA assays, lymphocyte proliferations assays, Greiss assay.

Further information

1. Sundar S, Singh OP, Chakravarty J. Visceral leishmaniasis elimination targets in India, strategies for preventing resurgence.
Expert Rev Anti Infect Ther. 2018, 16:805-812.
2. Moafi M, Rezvan H, Sherkat R, Taleban R. Leishmania Vaccines Entered in Clinical Trials: A Review of Literature.Int J Prev Med. 2019 Jun 7;10:953. Henriquez et al. (2010) Vaccination with recombinant Leishmania donovani gamma-glutamylcysteine synthetase fusion protein protects against L. donovani infection. J Parasitol.96(5):929-36

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Funding details

Applicant must find own funding to pay tuition and bench fees throughout studies

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Dr Katharine Carter

Senior Lecturer
Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences

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Dr Martin Wiese

John Anderson Research Senior Lecturer
Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences

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Dr K. C Carter