Student Projects

Insights into the influence of a maternal high-fat diet on infant susceptibility to severe lower respiratory tract infections

Project Supervisor/s

This project is suitable for a Master, Honour or PhD student.


Viral bronchiolitis is an infection of the small airways (bronchioles) characterised by the infiltration of neutrophils, oedema, and shedding of the epithelial cells that line the airway. A recent population study found that the offspring of mothers who ate a poor diet in the third trimester were predisposed to severe viral bronchiolitis. We have modelled this association in mice, and established that the maternal diet affects the nascent microbiome in the offspring and associated immune development. This project will explore the cellular and molecular mechanisms by which the microbiome affects immune development and susceptibility to infection in the lungs.     

To apply for this project, please contact the project supervisor/s

Ensure you have familiarised yourself with QIMR Berghofer's student program