The Microbiome and Vaccine Response
- Application date: 1 August 2021 to 3 December 2021
The human gut harbours a complex microbial ecosystem that can influence many aspects of host physiology and plays an important role in shaping the host immune system. Emerging evidence points to a key role for the gut microbiome in controlling responses to immunotherapy and improving vaccine-induced immunity. This suggested the potential of manipulating the intestinal microbiome for therapeutic goals.
The aim of this project is to understand and exploit the ability of commensal gut microbes to influence the human immune response to viral vectored vaccines, based on the ability of microbes to either directly, or indirectly modulate CD8+ T cells.
This is an interdisciplinary project that will begin by combining clinical trials of prophylactic and therapeutic vaccines against viral infections (e.g HIV and HBV) with in-depth multi-omic analysis to identify functional variation in the gut microbiome associated with immunological markers of vaccine response. It will progress to investigating the potential of specific microbes (or microbial products) as adjuvants to improve vaccine-induced immunity.
Vaccination, Microbiome, Metagenomics, T Cells, HIV
This position will be based within the Oxford Centre for Microbiome Studies at the Kennedy Institute for Rheumatology and The Jenner Institute. Together these institutes combine state-of-the art facilities for microbiome research with world-class expertise in immunology and vaccine development.
The successful applicant will gain experience of working alongside established clinical trials of viral vaccines. They will also receive the computational and laboratory training necessary to generate, analyse and interpret large multi-omic datasets (shotgun metagenomics, metabolomics). They will be expected to publish results in peer-reviewed journals and present at national and international scientific conferences.
As well as institutional support, the successful applicant will benefit from being part of the University of Oxford collegiate system.
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Vaccines, Microbiome, Immunology