MRC Centre for Medical Mycology (MRC CMM)

The Medical Research Council Centre for Medical Mycology (MRC CMM) at the University of Exeter is one of the most ambitious strategic investments in UK medical mycology. The MRC CMM is a world-leading research centre that is helping to tackle the major global threats to human health caused by fungal diseases. In fact, fungal infections now kill more people worldwide than malaria and similar numbers to tuberculosis. The Centre brings together researchers from the fields of medicine and living systems, and the biological, chemical, physical and mathematical sciences to increase our understanding of fungal pathogens and cognate immune defences, and to identify new ways to diagnose, prevent and treat fungal diseases. A major activity of the MRC CMM is to increase UK capacity in fundamental and clinical research in medical mycology through research and training programmes for medical and biosciences students and early career researchers. The Centre has established strategic interactions with other national and international groups is promoting public engagement and understanding of our science.

Fungal infections have an enormous impact on morbidity and mortality, yet their influence on human health is not widely appreciated. These infections remain understudied, compared to other infectious diseases, and there is a pressing need for more research in this field to improve patient outcomes.

Three priority areas require our urgent attention:

1. The need for robust, rapid, simple and cheaper diagnostics;

2. The need for safer and more effective antifungal drugs; and

3. The need for better understanding of fungal virulence and host antifungal immunity.

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PhD studentships available:

We offer five funded places for our four-year MRes-PhD programme. These start with the 1-year Master of Research (MRes) degree in Medical Mycology and Fungal Immunology that provides a solid theoretical and practical foundation in fungal infectious disease.  This includes one research project on host-pathogen interactions and a second on fungal pathogen biology. On successful completion of the MRes, students may progress to their 3-year PhD, choosing their cross-disciplinary PhD project from a broad selection of peer-reviewed proposals.

Funding includes a tax-free stipend, tuition fees and research costs are covered for the four years of the programme. Funding is available to UK/EU candidates only. However, self-funded international students with the appropriate qualifications are welcome to apply for entry to our 1-year MRes course.

Funded students will also receive additional research skills training, personal and career development opportunities, funding for travel to conferences and workshops, and support from mentors who provide independent career advice. Successful applicants will benefit from our vibrant, friendly and collegiate atmosphere, and the interdisciplinary nature of the world-leading science being performed in our Centre.

Applicants will be required to attend an interview (which may be by Skype, telephone or video link).

Application deadline: 13 January 2020

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