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Pathogenesis of Lung Cancer


$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 a suitably qualified candidate 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 exploring the mechanisms of pathogenesis of lung cancer to identify new diagnostic and therapeutic targets to improve diagnostics and treatments.

Lung cancer (LC) is the leading cause of cancer-associated deaths in Australia and worldwide, with 25 people dying in Australia every day, according to the Cancer Council. This is primarily due to a lack of effective early diagnostics and because LCs are the worst treated out of all cancers.

We need to better understand the mechanisms of pathogenesis of LC to identify new diagnostic and therapeutic targets to improve diagnostics and treatments. Tobacco smoking is the major risk factor for lung cancer, yet this has not been incorporated into clinically relevant models. We have developed a world-first tobacco carcinogen/cigarette smoke (CS)-induced model of LC that recapitulates the hallmark features of the human disease.

There is extensive recent evidence for important associations between the collection of bacteria in the gut (the gut microbiome) and inflammation and inflammatory disease. We have identified several components of the gut microbiome which are altered by CS and are known to affect inflammation and cancer development and progression in other body sites (liver, colon, etc.). We and others have also shown that the gut microbiome affects lung health and inflammation. However, little is known about the role of the gut microbiome in the development and progression of LC, or the potential to target the microbiome as a therapy for LC. Furthermore, studies have only looked at the end stage of disease and have not examined the temporal profile of the underlying pathogenesis.

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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