PhD Scholarship in Venom peptide discovery and neuropeptide research University of Queensland, Institute for Molecular Bioscience Australia

Institute for Molecular Bioscience (IMB)


The University of Queensland’s Institute for Molecular Bioscience, located on the main University campus, is Australia’s leading biosciences research institute. Established in 2000, the Institute is home to over 420 staff and is located in thriving Brisbane, a city consistently ranked as one of the world’s most vibrant and liveable cities.


The Institute, ranked in the Top 20 globally for life sciences research, pursues a multidisciplinary approach to solving some of the world’s most serious challenges in the fields of health, disease and sustainable solutions for our cities, fuels and foods. The Institute is housed in a single building and is organised into technological platforms (Divisions) and research themes (Centres). The Divisions support state-of-the art facilities including the Centre for Microscopy and Microanalysis, which houses new cryo-electron microscopes; the NMR facility containing 500, 600 and 900 MHz machines; the Mass Spectrometry Facility accommodating a wide array of instrumentation; suites for work with a variety of model organisms; a plethora of next generation DNA sequencing technologies and the southern hemispheres leading program in complex genetic traits. The Research Centres accommodate 36 groups using a combination of genomics, chemistry and cell biology to take life science discoveries from the genome to drug design and application in the areas of antimicrobial resistance, inflammation, pain, cardiovascular disease and rare and developmental diseases.


The award 


Neuropeptides are key mediators in many biological functions and understanding their interaction with target proteins is fundamental to unravel the underlying mechanism of diseases. Over the years, an increasing number of bioactive peptides from animals, plants, and bacteria have been characterised, with the overwhelming realisation that these molecules often show better therapeutic performance than their human counterparts, particularly in terms of in vivo stability


Our main research efforts situated in this area of Chemical Biology focus on the exploration and translation of these vast and untapped natural libraries towards the development of useful research tools and therapeutics. Solid phase peptide synthesis, the main tool to access these compounds, is a powerful technology for the assembly and chemical modification of these highly chiral and structurally complex peptides. We then use these ligands to develop advanced molecular probes and therapeutic leads to address important questions of unmet medical need.


We are seeking talented and highly motivated PhD candidates for multidisciplinary projects around venom peptide drug discovery and advanced probe development.


Please see the project descriptions below for further details.


Selection criteria

Project-dependent techniques that will be acquired throughout PhD


The successful applicant will develop the following skills during this PhD project:

  • solid phase peptide synthesis
  • organic and medicinal chemistry
  • mass spectrometry, peptide and protein purification techniques
  • nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, circular dichroism
  • recombinant protein expression, cell culture and pharmacological assays
  • various bioassays, proteomics and transcriptomics, peptide drug development
  • bioinformatics

To be eligible to apply, you must also meet the entry requirements for Higher Degrees by Research at UQ. Please visit the Graduate School's website.


Both Australian and international applicants are welcome to apply. Candidates should have a First Class Honours Degree or Master Degree (or equivalent) in the fields of chemistry, biochemistry, pharmacology or a related discipline. Strong academic performance, good oral and written communication skills, and published output will be additional assessment criteria.


Please note the following: Submitting the above documents does not constitute a full application for admission into The University of Queensland's PhD program. If you are selected as the preferred applicant, you will then be invited to submit a full application for admission. You can familiarise yourself with the documents required for this process on the Graduate School's website.


Enquiries and How to Apply

To be considered for this scholarship, please email the following documents to

Required documents

  • Cover letter
  • CV
  • Academic transcript/s

Please note the following: Submitting the above documents does not constitute a full application for admission into The University of Queensland's PhD program. If you are selected as the preferred applicant, you will then be invited to submit a full application for admission. You can familiarise yourself with the documents required for this process on the Graduate School's website.

 


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