Postgraduate research opportunities

Role of the microbiome in gastrointestinal nematode induced enteropathy

Inflammation, microbiome, helminths, mast cells, immunology, cytokines, costimulation Cellular Basis of Disease

Number of places



13 November 2020


36 Months


Biological science degree essential, experience in infectious disease and microbiology desirable

Project Details

Gastrointestinal nematode infections are associated with the induction of intestinal inflammation.  While it has been shown that the pathology is associated with the protective Th2 response to the parasite it has also been suggested that it may be in part due to a breakdown in the integrity of the intestine allowing inappropriate responses to commensal bacteria.  You will investigate the role of the probiotic bacteria, Lactobacillus, in ameliorating the pathology induced.  The project will firstly analyse the protective and pathological responses of treating mice with antibiotics.  Secondly, it will involve infecting mice with the GI parasite Trichinella spiralis and administering the probiotic bacteria at various times throughout the infection.


Techniques used:

Histology, ELISA, tissue culture, in vivo biology, FACS, confocal microscopy, 2 photon microscopy, IVIS, parasitology, microbiology

Funding Details

Applicant will need to self-fund, find sponsorship for tuition and bench fees of £12,000 per annum for duration of studies


Primary Supervisor: Dr Catherine Lawrence



Secondary Supervisor: Dr Chris Carter


Further information

Exploitation of the intestinal microflora by the parasitic nematode Trichuris muris. Hayes KS, Bancroft AJ, Goldrick M, Portsmouth C, Roberts IS, Grencis RK. Science. 2010 ; 328:1391-4.

Enhanced susceptibility to Trichuris muris infection of B10Br mice treated with the probiotic Lactobacillus casei. Dea-Ayuela MA, Rama-Iñiguez S, Bolás-Fernandez F. Int Immunopharmacol. 2008; 8:28-35.


Prebiotics, probiotics and helminths: the 'natural' solution?

Guarner F. Dig Dis. 2009; 27:412-7

Contact us

Dr Catherine Lawrence