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Role of fungal peptide toxins in infection

*Please note, this project is self-funded*

Project details

Supervisor: Professor Julian Naglik

Duration: Three years

Mode of study: Full-time

Funding: Self-funded

Eligibility: Home/EU

Application deadline: Open until suitable candidate is found

Reference number: 2017/DI/17 

Project description

The fungus Candida albicans is the most pathogenic of the Candida species because it forms highly penetrative hyphal filaments that induce strong mucosal inflammatory responses and tissue damage. We recently identified a putative pore-forming toxin in C. albicans hyphae that appears essential for pathogenicity and immune activation at mucosal surfaces. Notably, this fungal toxin induces many members of the IL-1 cytokine family in epithelial cells but the mechanism of IL-1 activation is unknown.

This project will determine the expression and secretion of IL-1 family cytokines from epithelial cells in response to this fungal toxin, and the role of IL-1 cytokines in activating epithelial immunity and cell survival signals will be determined.  Furthermore, the role of this toxin in activating epithelial IL-1 inflammasomes will be investigated. These data will provide valuable insights into the role of IL-1 family cytokines in epithelial innate immune responses to this medically important pathogenic fungus.

To view entry requirements and further course information, see the Dental and Health Sciences Research MPhil/PhD

Next steps

How to apply

Please apply online at following these steps:

  1. Register a new account/login
  2. Once logged in, select Create a new application
  3. Enter ‘Dental and Health Sciences Research MPhil/PhD (Full-time/Part-time)' under Choose a programme. Please ensure you select the correct mode of study
  4. Select a start date from the list under Entry requirements on this webpage.

Please note: Applicants must include the project reference number in the 'Research proposal' section of the application.

Contact for further information

Professor Julian Naglik (

Related division Mucosal & Salivary Biology.

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