Most emerging infectious diseases described in recent decades are zoonotic in origin in that they have spread to humans from an initial animal reservoir.1 Amongst the list of emerging infectious diseases are many pathogens that either cause intestinal infectious diseases (eg Shiga Toxin E. coli, H. pylori or Cryptosporidiosis) or spread through the intestine but cause disease more in other body systems (eg Extended spectrum β lactamase, or Hepatitis E). We have previously suggested that changing environmental factors, increasing urbanization and food choice is a major factor behind some infectious disease emergences.2
The NIHR Health Protection Research Unit (HPRU) on Gastrointestinal Infections is offering a PhD studentship to help increase understanding of such disease emergence, how they could impact on the health of UK/European citizens and how the risk to human health could be reduced. The HPRU is a 5 year collaboration between Public Health England and the University of East Anglia, University of Liverpool and University of Oxford.
The aim of the studentship is to increase our understanding of the nature and evolution of emerging infectious intestinal diseases, and especially how such infections spread from animals to humans and subsequently through human communities. Such information is needed in order to improve our ability to protect the public’s health. Activities could include systematic reviews of the emerging intestinal infection, epidemiological studies or microbiological field work in the UK or overseas, economics, mathematical modelling of transmission risk, or other risk assessment approaches.
Students from a wide range of backgrounds may be suitable for this studentship and including those with primary degrees in health sciences, applied mathematics, economics, social science or political science. The student would be expected to collaborate with colleagues in Public Health England. If the student wishes to undertake some or all of their work overseas including in low income countries we could offer contacts with overseas institutions or international organizations. If appropriate the student could also spend some of their time at Liverpool or Oxford Universities.
Those applicants whose first language is not English must demonstrate evidence of appropriate English language proficiency, normally defined as a minimum IELTS score of 6.5 (Overall Band Score) with 6.0 in all elements or equivalent.
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