Modulating the microbiota to improve vaccine responses (HALL_F17DTP2) (SSA)

Lead Research Organisation: University of East Anglia
Department Name: Graduate Office


The resident gut microbiota plays an important role in the modulation of both local and systemic immune responses. However, the impact of the microbiome composition on vaccine efficacy remains a limited area of study. Significant differences exist in the induction of vaccine responses in geographically distinct populations, which may be linked to host genetics, nutritional state, exposure to related infectious agents and critically also differences in the resident microbiota. Notably, randomised clinical trials have shown that some probiotic strains, including Bifidobacterium, are able to increase specific immune responses against vaccine antigens. These findings suggest that the presence of specific microbiota members could contribute to a greater vaccine efficacy.

The goal of this PhD studentship is to use microbiology and immunology techniques to identify mechanisms underlying microbiota-vaccination responses and how microbiota therapies may help to augment vaccines responses in different infant cohorts. This studentship represents an excellent training module for a wide range of microbiology, immunology and some bioinformatic techniques utilising pre-clinical and clinical samples.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
BB/M011216/1 01/10/2015 30/09/2023
1916134 Studentship BB/M011216/1 01/10/2017 31/12/2018 Shannah Laura Donhou