Infection Biology - Research

What is Infection Biology?

Infection biology is the study of pathogens and their interaction with their host(s). As such it encompasses the broad disciplines of microbiology, immunology, and genetics.

Infection biology research seeks to develop new approaches to the study of infectious disease. Reduction of the global burden of disease across humans and animals demands novel prophylactic and therapeutic approaches. Policy and funding agencies have recognised the need for multidisciplinary research programmes to deliver on this requirement, and infection biology is one key discipline in this area.

The Infection Biology thematic PhD programme is delivered by four UCD schools:

School of Biomolecular & Biomedical Science (SBBS)

School of Medicine & Medical Science (SMMS)

School of Veterinary Medicine (SVM)

School of Agriculture and Food Science (SAFS)

Using expertise from each of these schools, the thematic programme provides innovative research opportunities and teaching to its students.

Overview of Infection Biology Thematic Doctoral Programme

The Thematic Doctoral Programme in Infection Biology brings together basic, translational and clinical research teams across the University to address problems across the spectrum and human and animal health.

The programme comprises:

An independent research project;

Thematic course modules; and

Research-related modules

The benefit of a thematic PhD to the student is demonstrated in the breadth of combined experience, facilities and research avenues available, in addition to tailored modules and research days.

Programme Aims

Under the Infection Biology Doctoral Programme, graduate students will perform research projects encompassing such areas as host-pathogen interaction, emerging infections, systems biology, and infection models.

Through intensive research, thematic modules and research & professional development opportunities, the programme aims to equip the student with the skills necessary to swiftly progress in industry or academia in the area of Infection Biology.

Doctoral Research Project

Major independent research project

Central to the programme will be the implementation of an independent research project investigating aspects of infection biology of relevance to human and/or animal health. All PhD students in the programme will have a Research Studies Panel (RSP) comprised of the Principal Investigator (PI), a mentor and an advisor. The mentor or advisor (or both) will be drawn from one of the other participating schools to ensure that the student’s research work is contextualised in a broad, multidisciplinary framework.

Day-to-day teaching and learning will involve one-to-one interaction between the student and supervisor(s) and / or members of their research teams on all aspects relevant to the student’s research work and development. Formal monitoring of progress and identification of required supports by the student’s RSP will take place on a 6-monthly basis.

Thematic Modules

Thematic course modules are:

- Advances in Infection Biology (VET40080),in which PIs participating in the programme will delineate current concepts, state-of-the-art techniques and potential future developments in the area. (5 ECTS).

- Current Concepts in Infection Biology A (VET40090) +B (VET40100) are designed to provide students with an overview of the latest advances in infection biology through critical evaluation of the scientific literature.

Research related Modules

All students participating in the programme will also complete modules that can support their general training in their chosen field, as well as a mandatory research integrity training.

Application dates

Students interested in pursuing a PhD in Infection Biology are encouraged to contact Infection Biology Investigators directly.

Principal Investigator School(s)

Prof. Billy Bourke SM

Prof. Geraldine Butler SBBS

Dr. Marguerite Clyne SM

Dr Nicola Fletcher SVM

Prof. Seamus Fanning PHPPS

Dr. Virginie Gautier SM

Prof. Stephen Gordon SVM / SBBS / SM

Prof. David MacHugh SVM

Dr Hanne Jahns SVM

Prof. Ulla Knaus SM

Dr. Finola Leonard SVM

Prof. Brendan Loftus SM

Dr. Paddy Mallon SM

Dr. Bryan Markey SVM

Prof. Wim Meijer SBBS

Dr. Jennifer Mitchell SBBS

Prof. Grace Mulcahy SVM

Dr. Tadhg O' Cróinín SBBS

Prof. Torres Sweeney SVM

Dr. Theo de Waal SVM


Infection Biology (X810) PhD Research 3 Years FT/ 6 Years PT

Infection Biology (X812) PhD Research 3 Years FT/ 6 Years PT

Infection Biology (X814) PhD Research 3 Years FT/ 6 Years PT

Infection Biology (X816) PhD Research 3 Years FT/ 6 Years PT

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Doctoral (Level 10 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Part time,Daytime

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    Course provider