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Epigenetic Mechanisms of Pathogenesis of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease


$28,092 p.a. for three years, with the possibility of a 6-month extension.





The Centre for Inflammation currently has a full-time postgraduate scholarship available for suitably qualified candidates with a strong Honours degree (or equivalent) in biomedical science, pharmacology, chemistry, biomedical engineering or pharmacy to undertake research studies leading to a PhD focused on the epigenetic mechanisms of pathogenesis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and severe asthma.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a progressive lung disease that is the 3rd leading cause of chronic morbidity and mortality worldwide. Its prevalence is increasing. It affects ~6% of Australians and accounts for >55,000 hospitalisations/year. COPD is primarily caused by cigarette smoke (CS)-induced chronic inflammation, which can lead to progressive remodelling of the airways and emphysema that results in declining lung function and worsening breathlessness, often leading to death.

Asthma is a chronic inflammatory airway disease characterised by airway inflammation and remodelling that leads to airway hyperresponsiveness and reversible airflow obstruction. It is triggered by a range of allergic and exogenous stimuli that result in airway remodelling characterised by abnormally high levels of various inflammatory factors and fibrosis.

Current treatments lack efficacy in COPD or severe asthma patients and there are no cures, therefore new treatments are urgently required. The development of new therapeutic options has been hampered by a lack of understanding of disease mechanisms.

Who is eligible?

Applicants must be either permanent Australian residents or New Zealand citizens. To be eligible for this application, you must hold the following or equivalent degree in biomedical science, pharmacology, chemistry, biomedical engineering or pharmacy:

  • Honours degree with First Class, or Second Class Division 1, or 
  • MSc Research or MSc Coursework with a research thesis of at least 6 months. 

Selection process

  • be highly motivated and capable of independent work
  • have a strong team focus
  • possess excellent communication skills and the ability to work with a diverse range of people and within established collaborative teams 
  • have knowledge of a research/laboratory environment and requirements 
  • be computer literate in standard research software
  • be able to maintain thorough laboratory records
  • experience with standard lab techniques such as ELISA, RNA extraction, reverse transcription, qPCR, western blotting, cell culture, aseptic technique, histological analysis, Immunohistochemistry, Immunofluorescence, flow cytometry, and primer design.
  • Be able to conduct in vivo mouse models

Applications closed

15th January, 2020.

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