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