Project code



School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences

Start dates

February and October

Closing date

Applications accepted all year round

Applications are invited for a self-funded, 3 year full-time or 6 year part-time PhD studentship, to commence in February 2023, October 2023 or February 2024.


Fungal pathogens are a significant threat to human health and global food security. Opportunistic human fungal infections kill more people every year than tuberculosis and malaria combined, while plant fungal diseases have a devastating effect on the rice and cereal crops which feed half the world’s population.

The effectiveness of current fungicides is declining rapidly due to evolving fungal resistance, and growing biological similarities between fungi and their hosts.

New fungal specific targets for future anti-microbial strategies are desperately needed -- and data from the Lewis lab indicates that plasma membrane potassium channels (TOK) are ideal targets for future antimicrobial compounds, allowing harmful fungal pathogens in both humans and plants to be more effectively combated.

TOK are found only in fungi: no similar protein exists in humans, animals or plants. However, little is currently known about the expression, structure, function, pharmacology and regulation of TOK in pathogenic fungi.

The aim of this PhD project is therefore to gather more data and analysis, so we can be sure of the effectiveness of targeting TOK with fungicidal compounds. Specifically, this project will aim to characterise the function and regulation of TOK channels, their role in fungal cell physiology and virulence of pathogenic fungi.

The project is supervised by Dr Anthony Lewis and Dr Roger Draheim.

The work will include:

  • training in a wide range of complementary laboratory techniques, including: microbiology, electrophysiology, molecular biology, yeast genetics, and microscopy
  • research within our Ion Channel Research Laboratory and other facilities across the Institute of Biomedical and Biomolecular Science
  • access to a vast number of training resources through our Graduate School, including those geared towards: improving presentation skills, time-management and project organisation skills, reviewing literature, thesis writing, data analysis and statistics, and other various related training modules


PhD full-time and part-time courses are eligible for the Government Doctoral Loan

Bench fees may apply – for more information, please contact the project supervisor.

Entry requirements

A good honours degree or equivalent in a relevant subject or a master’s degree in an appropriate subject.

Exceptionally, equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications will be considered. All applicants are subject to interview.

English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.

How to apply

To start your application, or enquire further about the process involved, please contact Informal enquiries are welcome and can be made to Dr Anthony Lewis ( and Dr Roger Draheim (, quoting both the project code PHBM3000217 and the project title.

When you are ready to apply, you can use our online application form. Make sure you submit a personal statement, proof of your degrees and grades, details of two referees, proof of your English language proficiency and an up-to-date CV.

You can also visit our How to Apply pages to get a better understanding of how the PhD application process works.

October start

Apply now

February start

Apply now