Diphtheria, a disease caused by Corynebacterium diphtheriae

Lead Research Organisation: University of Cambridge
Department Name: Medicine


Diphtheria, a disease caused by Corynebacterium diphtheriae can be easily prevented by one of the most successful vaccines, DTP (Diphtheria, Tetanus and Pertussis). While diphtheria and diphtheria like symptoms are mostly noticed in individuals who are partially vaccinated or unvaccinated, some fully vaccinated cases have also been reported. Moreover, some non-toxigenic variants of C. diphtheriae and some non-diphtheriae species have also been associated with the disease. Robert's PhD will characterise these unusual variants using advanced in-silico and wet lab approaches. The WGS data generated will be used to track their molecular evolution and design smart diagnostic kit. Robert will spend some time at labs in endemic areas where he would adapt his genomics based tests for the field, using true clinical specimens. By the end of his PhD, Robert would be trained in big data handling, bioinformatics, molecular biology, microbiology, field work and translation.


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