A decision-support modelling toolset for anthrax infection and treatment


Contact Professor Carmen Molina-Paris to discuss this project further informally.

Project description

The aim of this PhD project is to develop an anthrax modelling toolset, which can be used to inform hazard assessment, operational analysis and medical counter-measure studies.

The toolset will consist of two principal modules:

  1. Human infection module: a within-host mechanistic model of the infection process of anthrax within humans will be developed (bacterial growth and toxin production). This module will predict the probability of infection and the time to symptoms for an individual exposed to a given dose of anthrax. Published data from animal models (primarily primate) will be leveraged, together with available human clinical case data.
  2. Medical treatment module: a within-host mechanistic model of the effect of a range of treatments (e.g., different varieties of antibiotic) will be developed, allowing different dosing strategies to be tested. Published pharmacokinetic data will be leveraged in model development.

These two modules will be integrated to provide a tool that can be used to predict the consequences of a deliberate aerosol release of anthrax, and to investigate optimal treatment strategies in both military and civilian contexts. The toolset will allow different medical countermeasures to be tested in silico and will also allow alternative scenarios, such as antibiotic resistance, to be explored.

Entry requirements

Applications are invited from candidates with or expecting a minimum of a UK upper second class honours degree (2:1) or equivalent, and/ or a Master's degree in mathematics or physics.

If English is not your first language, you must provide evidence that you meet the University’s minimum English Language requirements.

How to apply

Formal applications for research degree study should be made online through the university's website. Please state clearly in the research information section that the PhD you wish to be considered for is 'A decision-support modelling toolset for anthrax infection and treatment’ as well as Professor Carmen Molina-Paris as your proposed supervisor.

We welcome scholarship applications from all suitably-qualified candidates, but UK black and minority ethnic (BME) researchers are currently under-represented in our Postgraduate Research community, and we would therefore particularly encourage applications from UK BME candidates. All scholarships will be awarded on the basis of merit.

If you require any further information please contact the Graduate School Office, e: maps.pgr.admissions@leeds.ac.uk.