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


Dr Mattie Pawlowic

Our research focus is on Cryptosporidium, a waterborne parasite that can cause chronic diarrhoea, dehydration and malnutrition. We concentrate in two main areas: understanding the basic biology and biochemistry of Cryptosporidium, and drug discovery in collaboration with WCAIR and the Drug Discovery Unit (DDU). Developing new genetic tools to work with the parasite will help both aims. “Infection occurs through the oral ingestion of an oocyst. The wall of an oocyst is extremely protective and can withstand bleaching and chlorination. If we can unravel the structure of this wall we can develop drugs to interfere with the infection cycle,” explained Dr. Pawlowic. “Cryptosporidium is difficult to genetically manipulate and you cannot culture it continuously. At the University of Georgia, I used CRISPR to make the first genetic knockout of Cryptosporidium. Now we have the chance to use that technology in collaboration with drug discovery to develop new drugs.”