Summer Scholarship

The Infectious Disease Section in the School of Biological and Chemical Sciences is sponsoring a summer scholarship for 3rd year undergraduates in a related programme at University of Galway. The interdisciplinary projects will be relevant to the theme of infectious disease and will promote greater cooperation and collaboration between different research areas.

The scholarship student will gain experience in multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary research and will develop valuable research skills during their scholarship experience. The student will be invited to present a poster of their project at the School Research Day at the end of semester 1. The project will be for 8 weeks full-time during summer 2023 and will take place between two research groups in the Infectious Disease Section. The student stipend is €2,000, payable monthly, and €500 will be available for consumables to support the project.

Project 1: Oligopeptide-modified oligonucleotides as targeted therapeutics for MRSA infections

The relentless rise of antimicrobial resistant (AMR) infections constitutes a leading threat to public health that must be counteracted by the development of novel antibacterial agents and alternative approaches. Staphylococcus aureus is a significant cause of both morbidity and mortality worldwide responsible for antibiotic resistant infections in a wide variety of organ systems. Identification and exploitation of new targets to improve the treatment options for AMR infections is a necessity. This 8-week project will focus on evaluating the potential of chimeric antisense oligonucleotides (ASOs) on growth inhibition of S. aureus, which is on the World Health Organisation’s list of priority pathogens.
The overarching objective is to evaluate the hypothesis that ASOs targeting essential genes have therapeutic potential as inhibitors of growth of S. aureus. Chimeric ASOs will undergo modification with oligopeptides in collaboration with Prof. Paul Murphy (Chemistry) to facilitate delivery into bacterial cells. The activity of peptide modified ASOs will be tested against Staphylococcal species in Prof. James P. O’Gara’s lab (Microbiology). Additionally, new targets for ASOs will be identified bioinformatically. Exploiting inter-disciplinary research with new technologies to counter antibiotic resistance by targeting genes essential for growth will lay the foundations for therapeutic strategies to improve treatment of AMR infections. Lab supervisor: Dr. Merve S. Zeden (Microbiology

Academic supervisors: Prof. Paul Murphy (Chemistry) and Prof. James P. O'Gara (Microbiology)

Please contact Prof. Murphy ( or Prof. O’Gara ( with relevant questions.


To apply, please submit your CV and the names of 2 referees to Dr. Zeden (


Friday 28th April 2023 @5 pm - Interviews will be held the following week

Start Date

Projects start date will be no later than 1st June and finish no later than 4th August 2023.