Infectious Diseases PhD/MPhil/MD
Major code: IDPR (PhD), IDMR (MPhil), IDMD (MD)
Institute of Infection and Global Health
Liverpool has had a leading international reputation in infection research, tropical medicine and global health for more than 150 years.
The University of Liverpool’s Institute of Infection and Global Health was established to bring together leading medical, veterinary and basic science researchers from across the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences. It also complements other strengths in Liverpool, including the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, the Wolfson Centre for Personalised Medicine, the Medicines for Children Research Network, and the Wellcome Trust Tropical Centre with its associated PhD programme. We also enjoy close and active collaboration with NHS colleagues through the Liverpool Health Partners Academic Health Science System.
The Institute has 101 full-time academic staff, including 21 professors, as well as 39 professional services staff and 90 research students. Our annual budget is £4.2 million, and £6.6 million was awarded in new research income this year.
Being a PG makes everything personal. You get involved with individual academic staff and become part of their research interests. You share a common research path.
Why did you decide to undertake a postgradaute qualification? (E.g. love of a subject; intellectual stimulation; career prospects or employability).
I wanted to combine my existing knowledge with something new and use it to come up with a novel postgraduate project. At the same time research is something that I love, and I want to have consistency in my life.
What compelled you to choose to study for your postgradate degree at Liverpool ahead of other Universities (particularly other Russell Group institutions)?
The fact that the University of Liverpool is one of the leading Universities in subjects such as infectious diseases was a crucial factor for my decision. Also with state of the art facilities, and well trained academic staff it was not that difficult for me to make the best choice.
What are your career aims following your PG study and how do you anticipate your postgraduate degree will help you achieve them?
When I finish I would like to expand my research interests into subjects such as ‘’drug delivery’’ or ‘’ brain infectious diseases’’. These subjects will cover a range of diseases such as Meningitis, Encephalitis or dementia diseases.
What skills have you developed in addition to the knowledge you are learning on your programme?
I gained the ability to organize myself, take the lead in performing experiments, forming ideas, or even presenting to others. It of course enhanced my relationship with others and gave me the ability to share but also acquire knowledge and beautiful experience.
How valuable do you consider these skills? Do you feel they will help you or even give you a competitive edge in your desired career path?
Being able to lead a team is the first important skill that someone needs to compete and actually contribute into the crowded world of research. The University teaches you how to become exceptional and form your character. Exceptional is what research needs nowadays.
What was your route to PG study (did you proceed direct from your undergraduate degree or following some time away from University)?
Towards the end of my MSc in Molecular Medicine at the University of Essex I started searching for a PhD programme.
Have you any recommendations or advice concerning the application process you’d like to share with prospective postgradaute students thinking of applying?
As it concerns the PhD programme, it would be better to contact the person who is managing a subject that you are interested in. That will give you the advantage to progress with your application forms faster.
Please given an overview of your area of study and/or research.
My project involves the study of a barrier in the brain (Blood Brain Barrier) that is responsible for substances and microorganisms which might be or might not be able to enter the brain. Different infectious pathogens will be tested on laboratory based models (in vitro), and a range of drugs will be used and perhaps pass through specific modifications in order to acquire positive results.
How would you explain the significance and impact of your subject or research to others?
This is important because it will enhance the knowledge on how specific drugs can get in the brain and what abilities they have after they enter, or how important diseases such as bacterial meningitis or encephalitis are caused.
Do you feel that you are part of a flourishing research department that makes a difference in your own subject and beyond?
I would say that I feel right in the middle of an emerging research force which will lead research across the UK but also expand around the Globe. It is not by luck that the Institute of Infection and Global Health has the world “Global” in its name. Studies in Nepal, Malawi, Japan and other tropical countries are already being carried out and even though our facilities did not yet appear in the University’s maps, the institute’s on-going research is already around the Globe.
What do you particularly like about your department?
The department consists of people that are fun to work with, well-educated and most of all good people, easy to approach, understanding and supportive. The department’s state of the art facilities and equipment make the environment even more pleasant.
How have you found the postgraduate experience differs to the undergraduate experience? What, if anything, do you prefer about postgraduate study?
Being a postgraduate makes everything personal. You get involved with individual academic staff and become part of their research interests. You share a common research path. Everything that you might consider important in your research is also important for your supervisor and vice versa.
Do you have any advice to offer undergraduates or graduates that are contemplating postgradaute study?
The only way to become a successful researcher is through a PG degree. Seek as much help as possible; make questions even if you consider them “silly”. You will soon realize that the “silly” questions are what made you go even further beyond. It won’t be long until you find yourself being the one asked the “silly” questions!