Functional genomics of the host response to Mycobacterium bovis infection: development of next-generation control tools for bovine tuberculosis
A four-year PhD studentship in infection biology and functional genomics of bovine tuberculosis is available at the Animal Genomics Laboratory, University College Dublin.
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Tuberculosis is a devastating disease of humans and animals. Mycobacterium bovis, which cause bovine tuberculosis, is a major zoonotic pathogen and causes losses to global agriculture of approx. €2.7 billion per annum. To develop strategies to control bovine tuberculosis, we need to understand how the pathogen causes disease and how this impacts host immunobiology and physiology.
This thematic structured PhD research project will focus on peripheral blood-based functional genomics of mRNA and microRNA transcriptomes to develop infection biosignatures of tuberculosis in domestic cattle. An integrative genomics approach will be used, encompassing gene expression information from in vitro macrophage infection challenge experiments, experimental animal infection models and validation studies of field-infected cattle. Pan‐genomic SNP variant data will also be exploited to investigate genetic contributions to inter‐animal transcriptome and biosignature variation. In addition, the research project will be carried out within a ‘One Health’ framework, leveraging information from parallel genomics studies of host-pathogen interactions in human tuberculosis caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis.