PhD Scholarships in Stem Cell Biology
The Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology
The University of Queensland's Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (AIBN) is a dynamic multi-disciplinary research institute dedicated to developing technology to alleviate societal problems in the areas of health, energy, manufacturing and environmental sustainability. AIBN brings together the skills of more than 450 world-class researchers complimented by an extensive suite of integrated facilities, working at the intersection of biology, chemistry, engineering and computer modelling. With a reputation for delivering translational science, AIBN conducts research at the forefront of emerging technologies, and has developed strong collaborations with leading members of industry, academia and government. AIBN goes beyond basic research to develop the growth of innovative industries for the benefit of the Queensland and Australian economies.
The UQ Centre in Stem Cell Ageing and Regenerative Engineering (UQ-StemCARE; http://www.aibn.uq.edu.au/uq-stemcare), located within the AIBN brings together UQ’s leading researchers in stem cell biology, bioengineering, neural, vascular, and musculo-skeletal biology, genome biology, proteomics, bioinformatics, and clinical ageing-related research, to address the following challenges:
Discover the intrinsic and extrinsic regulators of stem cell ageing within in vivo perivascular, muscle, skeletal and neural stem cell niches;
Develop novel in vitro and in vivo models to interrogate the functional interactions between the intrinsic and extrinsic processes that result in ageing of stem cells and their niches in these tissues;
Demonstrate that manipulating novel key regulators can maintain stem cell and tissue function with age; and
Translate the scientific results into clinical solutions with medical and commercial potential.
Our life expectancy has continuously increased over the past decades and with more than a quarter of Australians estimated to reach over 65 years of age by 2050, ageing research is becoming increasingly relevant to our society. StemCARE brings together researchers from across Australia to investigate how the decline in stem cell function affects the ageing process with the goal to engineer clinically translatable solutions for increasing ‘healthy ageing’.
The proposed research will focus on investigating stem cell and niche ageing; engineering novel in vitro and in vivo ageing models; and designing novel regenerative medicine solutions to combat ageing-related decline in function and productivity and increase health span. Research projects are available in several areas, with the centre’s focus being on the three critical stem cell niches:
Perivascular - the niche that is present in all tissue stem cell niches (including neural and musculoskeletal), and specifically associated with age-related vascular diseases such as aterio-, arteriosclerosis
Neural – a complex niche defined originally by UQ researchers and associated with age-related diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and Dementia
Musculoskeletal – niches in muscle and bone are closely associated with the perivascular niche but are themselves separable and associated with age-related diseases such as muscle wasting, osteoporosis and osteoarthritis.
As part of their PhD, the successful student will be trained in a number of state of the art technologies in stem cell engineering and regenerative medicine (in vivo CRISPR genome engineering, high-end microscopy, In vitro organoid generation and interrogation, biomicrofluidic development, polymer chemistry, Mouse and/or human in vitro and in vivo models of ageing).
The concepts and techniques have applications across all multicellular organisms and will position the applicant well for a future research career not only within stem cell science and regenerative engineering but also in medicine, neurology and molecular biology/genome engineering.
This project is only suited to students who are highly driven and have a desire to pursue a high level research career in stem cell biology and tissue engineering. Applicants should possess an appropriate qualification for entry into the PhD training scheme, preferably in one of the following fields: neurobiology, molecular biology, bioengineering and polymer chemistry.
They should have an outstanding track record of academic achievement, excellent laboratory skills that are relevant to the project and have the drive to lead this research-intensive PhD project. Applicants should have the ability to think critically, rationally and independently. Excellent verbal and written English skills are essential. Applicants should be comfortable working with small animal models and be willing to work with radiation.
Candidates need to obtain an UQ Graduate School Scholarship (UQGSS – Living, tuition and health cover for international students; living and tuition for domestic students) or equivalent prior to commencement of candidature. Prospective students will be provided with assistance to apply for UQGSS (contact for assistance firstname.lastname@example.org).
The successful applicant will join a team of researchers with broad experience in stem cell biology, neurobiology, disease modelling, tissue engineering, microfluidics, and regenerative engineering, and with national and international collaborations with Industry, University’s and Government agencies.
To discuss these roles and for further information, please contact Dr Brit Winnen at email@example.com.
Expression of Interest Closing Dates
Please note the different EOI closing dates for international and domestic candidates as per UQ Graduate School research higher degree application and scholarship round timelines as advertised on their website: https://graduate-school.uq.edu.au/scholarships.
Deadline domestic students: 12 September 2017 (intake 1) and 15 April 2018 (intake 2)
Deadline international students: 20 December 2017 (intake 1) and 1 July 2018 (intake 2)
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