Years 2-4

Planning your PhD

Up to six weeks will be set aside at the end of the first year for the choice and detailed planning of the PhD project. Around 40 research projects will be offered to students, so there is a wide choice of topics and  supervisors. We are particularly keen to take advantage of the breadth of expertise within Imperial College, embracing both basic and clinical science, and to encourage projects that are co-supervised between departments. The students will work closely with their chosen supervisor(s) at this stage and may also learn further key laboratory skills essential to the proposed project but not already covered in the preceding months.

The PhD project

In years 2-4, the majority of your time will be spent in the laboratory undertaking your research. You will be expected to attend weekly seminars that will be based on existing seminar programmes within the host department. These programmes regularly include a wide range of speakers of both national and international distinction and provide an opportunity for students to be exposed to a broad cross-section of scientific thought. In addition, all departments run regular research-in-progress sessions at which students will take their turn in presenting their work and will learn to defend their data in front of a critical audience.

Previous PhD projects

A wide range of topics have been chosen by former PhD students on the programme. Some of these are given below:

  • The role of KIRs in the cellular immune response to HTLV-1
  • The P-Usher: A novel secretion machine for the assembly of bacterial cell surface appendages involved in biofilm formation in P. aeruginosa
  • Identification and characterization of genes implicated in germination of Clostridium difficile endospores
  • The fine specificity of the Natural Killer cell response to Hepatitis C infection: a role for self and viral peptides in KIR-HLA interactions
  • Host range and pathogenicity determined by influenza virus polymerase
  • SpyCEP, the chemokine cleaving enzyme of Streptococcus pyogenes
  • Interactions between the mosquito innate immune system, Plasmodium parasites and commensal microorganisms
  • Making Insertions in the norovirus genome: structure-function profiling
  • Optimal HSV-1 replication in human keratinocytes - the relevant cell type
  • Germline Encoded T-cell receptor complementarity determining regions are dispensable for MHC recognition
  • Gene expression profiling of HTLV-1 positive individuals: identification of an interferon signature in patients with HAM/TSP
  • The Innate Immune Rheostat and susceptibility to secondary bacterial infection in the lung
  • VACV protein C6: an innate immune modulator
  • Structural dissection of the Norovirus replication machinery
  • Cholinergic regulation of the immune response to helminth infection