Severe Infection in Coronavirus and haemorrhagic fever viruses

In the past twenty years we have seen several outbreaks of global concern caused by coronaviruses and haemorrhagic fevers. These include, SARS, MERS, COVID-19 and Ebola virus. We have been at the forefront of many of these outbreaks, conducting both scientific and clinical research. We have built up a large sample biobank from humans with these diseases and skills and technologies to analyse these precious resources to obtain the maximum amount of data. Each outbreak presents its own unique challenges, particularly in terms of considering therapeutic interventions. One of the common themes that runs across these severe diseases in humans is the overt and uncontrolled host response to infection. Understanding the mechanism of this overt response will led to the identification of cellular pathways that can be targeted to therapeutically modulate the host response. Also, by analysing large datasets we can identify molecules whose presence and abundance potentially allows us to predict the severity of the disease and outcome for the patient. This project will use high resolution sequencing using Illumina and long read length sequencing using Oxford nanopore (MinION/GirdION) to generate detailed transcriptomic maps of tissue samples from patients with severe infection for MERS, COVID-19, Hanta and Ebola virus. This data will be analysed using bioinformatics and machine learning approaches to identify RNAs associated with outcomes in patients. The project will involve laboratory and computational skills. Given our central role in outbreak response we are looking for a well-rounded individual who will also conduct training at containment level 3 (CL3) and in good clinical practice (GCP). Part of the HPRU mission is to provide a pool of researchers who are able to deploy in support of laboratory activities around outbreaks in country (UK or elsewhere). Therefore, the successful candidate will be expected to conduct a deployment (around 6 weeks) in an outbreak zone. We anticipate that the successful candidate may also travel to Saudi Arabia to analyse samples from patients infected with MERS coronavirus. The position will be mainly based in the laboratory of Prof. Hiscox that is composed of 4 PDRA and 6 PhD students. There will be short research visits to the laboratory of Prof. Carroll at Public Health England and the University of Oxford. More details and how to apply here University of Liverpool or Find a PhD



Posted on: 20/05/2020