PhD Position: functional genomics of the host response to Mycobacterium bovis infection

Animal Genomics Laboratory, University College Dublin
Job Location
Animal Genomics Laboratory
UCD Veterinary Sciences Centre, UCD Belfield
€18,000 tax-free PhD stipend
Job Description

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.

PDF poster advert:

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.


Four-year Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) funded position, €18,000 stipend per annum, postgraduate fees funded separately by the project.

 Unfortunately, due to funding restrictions, this position is available to EU residents (eligible for EU postgraduate fees) only. Applications from non‐EU residents will not be short‐listed.

Applicants should have a 2.1 honours degree or higher in Immunology, Genetics/Genomics, Microbiology, Cell Biology, Biochemistry, Animal Science, Veterinary Medicine or a cognate discipline.

How to Apply

Application deadline: Close of business, Friday 17th June 2016

Email applications (CV and contact details for at least two scientific referees) to:

Start date: 2016/2017 academic year (September/October 2016)


Prof David MacHugh

Phone: +353-1-716-6256


About Our Organization

University College Dublin is the largest University in Ireland whose origin dates back to 1854. There are more than 26,000 students, including over 6,000 international students, on the main UCD Belfield campus. The successful applicant will join a large group of researchers investigating bovine and human tuberculosis, and will have access to outstanding research facilities at the UCD Animal Genomics Laboratory and at the UCD Conway Institute of Biomolecular and Biomedical Research. The student will be co-supervised by Prof David MacHugh ( and Prof Stephen Gordon ( and will be enrolled in the UCD Thematic PhD Programme in Infection Biology (, which includes advanced training in immunobiology, functional genomics, population genomics, integrative genomics, computational biology and bioinformatics.

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