University of Dundee

Wellcome 4-Year PhD Programme in Integrated Molecular, Cellular and Translational Biology

The Wellcome Trust Integrated molecular, cellular and translational biology programme combines scientific excellence with a commitment to improving the working environment and transition support for trainees. This PhD programme, provided by world-renowned scientists from the School of Life Sciences at the University of Dundee, will train the next generation of scientists at the forefront of international science. Students will join our supportive and positive research culture with the opportunity to select research projects centred around four themes:

  1. Cellular Regulation
  2. Protein Modification
  3. Infection and Immunity
  4. Drug Discovery and Translation

Around 50 different potential supervisors will participate in this programme

Prof Simon Arthur

Inflammation is critical to the host response to infection or damage.  Excessive inflammation is however harmful and as a result this process is closely controlled by both pro- and anti-inflammatory factors. Failure of these processes can result either failure to control a pathogen or chronic inflammation. We are interested in the roles that cells in the innate immune system play in coordinating inflammation and how they contribute to activation of adaptive immunity via the production of cytokines and other inflammatory mediators. Innate immune cells recognize specific components of pathogens – referred to as pathogen associated molecular patterns or PAMPs. Several groups of receptors for PAMPs have been described, including Toll like receptors, C-type lectins and NOD-like proteins. These receptors trigger the activation of several intracellular signaling pathways, including the mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK), NFkappaB and TBK1/IRF systems leading to the transcription and production of both pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines. Our main focus is to understand the roles these intracellular signaling cascades play in both the initial inflammatory response and in the ability of innate immune cells regulate the inflammatory process. In this context we are focused on their roles in responses to fungal pathogens and long term immune conditions such as asthma and arthritis.