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IIP-The Florey Institute, University of Sheffield
Sheffield, United Kingdom (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms:
Program Terms: Summer
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This program is currently not accepting applications.
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Restrictions: Princeton applicants only
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Fact Sheet:
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Program Type: Internship Duration of Program: 8 or more weeks
Program Adviser: Shahreen Rahman
Program Description:
Program Description:
The Florey Institute, University of Sheffield

Organization Overview:
The Florey Institute for host-pathogen interactions at the University of Sheffield is addressing one of the world’s biggest biomedical challenges – infectious disease. Set within the context of emerging antibiotic resistance, we study the complex interaction between pathogens and their host. The Florey Institute promotes collaboration between experts across a variety of disciplines, including microbiology, immunology and clinicians. By working together with our collaborative partners, we are ‘bridging the gap’ between science and patient care to tackle this global threat to human healthcare.

Intern Responsibilities:

PROJECT 1 – Turner lab

The human pathogen Streptococcus pyogenes causes a wide range of diseases from tonsillitis and pharyngitis to toxic shock and necrotizing fasciitis (flesh-eating disease). The ability to cause such a wide range of diseases probably comes from the number of different virulence factors it is able to produce. Clinical isolates of S. pyogenes can sometimes exhibit unusual phenotypes suggesting a differelysis of red blood cells) as well as different colony morphology when grown in certain conditions. This phenotype is not fixed, suggesting a switching event is occurring. The IIP intern will explore the phenotype to identify how often this occurs and under what growth conditions. The intern will also use molecular techniques to disrupt the genes responsible for the haemolysis to determine if this is linked to the odd colony morphology. The IIP intern will also determine if this phenotype exists in other closely related genotypes. Using available whole genome sequence data for this genotype and other closely related strains the intern will explore possible mechanisms within the chromosome and investigate these further. Lastly the IIP intern will perform some basic phenotype studies in the lab such as growth in human blood, survival in Galleria mellonella (caterpillar) and adherence to human cell lines.
 

PROJECT 2 – Elks lab
The IIP intern will be part of a team aiming to understand the host innate immune response against TB. We use a zebrafish model of tuberculosis, using the closely related pathogen Mycobacterium marinum, to identify whether the host innate immune response can be manipulated to better deal with infection. We focus on the host transcriptional response to low oxygen levels (hypoxia), via the hypoxia inducible factor (HIF) transcription factor family, and we have previously shown that targeting this pathway can aid the host clear infection. The lab is currently working to understand the molecular mechanisms behind this process (for more information, visit the lab website at www.elkslab.weebly.com).
 
In the lab we use a range of techniques, including in vivo zebrafish work, confocal imaging, molecular biology and microbiology. The student would be responsible for a short term project relating to the above aims. He/she would be mentored by Dr Elks and would have lab supervision from the Elks’ lab manager (Amy Lewis) and PhD students. He/she would be trained in the in vivo techniques used in the project and will become proficient at using the zebrafish model of infection. The project would require the student to be responsible for carrying out the experiments, analyzing the results and maintaining a laboratory notebook.
 

PROJECT 3 - Kadirkamanathan lab 
The IIP intern will work on an engineering life science inter-disciplinary collaborative project that aims to provide quantitative analysis of cellular dynamic behavior. The aim is to provide a rigorous quantitative evidential analysis for the experimental observation based hypotheses related to immune cell function. The quantitative analysis will be carried out on time-lapse images of immune cells (neutrophils) during the recruitment and resolution phases of inflammation in a zebrafish model. The analysis will involve performing image processing techniques to segment and track the cells with an in-house software and use the outputs from the software to build quantitative relationships between cell motility parameters, morphological features and any subcellular signals measured from biomarker intensities. The tasks for the IIP intern will involve adapting the in-house software to improve performance of the image analysis, using statistical techniques to analyze distributions across the cell population and to explore temporal correlations amongst the extracted quantities. The project will build on the previous research on a limited dataset that have been published in the literature on inflammation resolution. The intern will be under Professor Kadirkamanathan and his team’s guidance on quantitative analysis approaches and for the enhancement of the analysis software development.
 

PROJECT 4 - Fagan lab
Clostridium difficile is the most common cause of antibiotic-associated diarrhea. It’s a highly antibiotic resistant pathogen that can cause severe disease following antibiotic-mediated disruption of the protective gut microbiota. The aim of this research is to understand the molecular basis of interactions between the bacterium and its host. We study the outermost layer of the C. difficile cell envelope, the surface- or S-layer, a 2-dimensional proteinaceous crystal that completely coats the surface of the bacterium. The S-layer has been implicated in adhesion and induction of innate immunity. The work combines molecular microbiology and structural biology to study S-layer biogenesis and function. The purpose of this project is to characterize key proteins in the S-layer secretion system. The project will involve the use of classic molecular microbiology and biochemical techniques, including the culturing and genetic manipulation of an anaerobic pathogen, and analysis of protein secretion. The IIP intern will be mentored by Dr Fagan and members of the Fagan group.

Qualifications:
Turner lab background requirements:
Academic Background/Interests: Microbiology
Technical Skills: Basic microbiology and/or molecular biology techniques.
 
Elks lab background requirements:
Academic Background/Interests: Biology/medicine/biological sciences /microbiology/biochemistry degrees
Technical Skills: Basic lab skills (essential), microbiology experience and/or some in vivo experience (desirable)
 
Kadirkamanathan lab background requirements:
Academic Background/Interests: Bioengineering, Electrical Engineering, Computer Science, Mathematics degrees
Technical Skills: Mathematical and MATLAB or Python computing skills (essential), Image and signal processing or pattern recognition (desirable)
Languages and Level of Fluency (speaking/reading/writing): Fluent in English in all
 
Fagan lab background requirements:
Academic Background/Interests: biological sciences/microbiology/biochemistry degrees
Technical Skills: Basic microbiology and/or molecular biology techniques.



 If you are enrolled in the Global Health Program certificate, this internship will fulfill the GHP internship requirement.

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Dates / Deadlines:
This program is not currently accepting applications. Please consult the sponsoring department's website for application open dates.
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This program is currently not accepting applications.