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The aim of the project in collaboration with PHE is to develop mathematical models of adaptive immune responses following exposure to Ebola virus.

Ebola virus (EBOV) is now one of the most feared pathogens worldwide, as recently demonstrated in the West African Ebola outbreak: between December 2013 and April 2016, the largest epidemic of Ebola virus disease (EVD) to date generated more than 28,000 cases and more than 11,000 deaths in the populations of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. In some patients, antigen-specific (or adaptive) immune responses develop in time to restrict viral replication and leading to the survival of the individual, otherwise, death occurs one to two weeks after the onset of symptoms. No anti-viral drug has been identified to block ebolavirus replication.

This project is based on the hypothesis (supported by murine infection models, as well as rhesus macaque models) that a specific adaptive immune response in lethal EBOV infection can be protective upon transfer to naive EBOV infected recipients. That is, that the timing and characteristics of the specific adaptive immune response initiated in an EBOV infected individual are predictors of survival or death. The aim of the project, in collaboration with Public Health England (PHE), is to develop mathematical models of adaptive immune responses following exposure to Ebola virus disease. The mathematical models, together with clinical data, provided by Professor Miles Carroll (PHE), of innate and adaptive immune responses to EBOV, as well as with Bayesian methods, will allow us to characterise and quantify the temporal dynamics of host adaptive cells during an infection, and in doing so, identify the differences in host adaptive immune responses that lead to survival or death.

Entry requirements: Applicants should have, or expect to obtain, a minimum of a UK upper second class honours degree, with a strong background in Mathematics and/or Statistics or in a related quantitative discipline. A masters degree is optional but would be an advantage. Familiarity with basic extreme value theory would also be helpful, as well as some experience in statistical computing and data analysis.

How to apply: Formal applications for research degree study should be made online through the university's website. Please state clearly in the research information second that the PhD you wish to be considered for is 'A mathematical study of adaptive immune responses following exposure to Ebola virus disease' as well as Professor Carmen Molina-ParĂ­s and Dr Martin Lopez-Garcia as your proposed supervisors.

If English is not your first language, you must provide evidence that you meet the University's minimum English Language requirements.

We welcome scholarship applications from all suitably-qualified candidates, but UK black and minority ethnic (BME) researchers are currently under-represented in our Postgraduate Research community, and we would therefore particularly encourage applications from UK BME candidates. All scholarships will be awarded on the basis of merit.

If you require any further information please contact the Graduate School Office, e: , Prof. Carmen Molina-Paris: or Dr Martin Lopez-Garcia:

PhD position
University of Leeds
Closing date
February 28th, 2019
Posted on
January 21st, 2019 15:53
Last updated
January 21st, 2019 15:53