PhD Scholarship in metabolic phenotyping

PhD scholarship to explore the molecular mechanisms that define health throughout ageing.

This exciting opportunity is for a graduate from biological sciences, biochemistry, medicine, analytical chemistry or similar degree with a strong academic background to undertake a PhD in the application of metabolic phenotyping platforms to explore the metabolic mechanisms that define healthy ageing.

The successful applicant will be based at Murdoch University at the Australian National Phenome Centre (ANPC) and will contribute to an international research program in collaboration with the Centre for Healthy Ageing. The research will be focused on the discovery, elucidation and quantification of metabolic pathways that underpin health throughout the ageing process. To achieve this, the project will utilize the state-of-the-art analytical platforms (mass spectrometry and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy) that are in place at the ANPC, to characterise the metabolism of ageing. Example target pathways will include metabolites resulting from gut-microbial metabolism as well as metabolites resulting from endogenous neuroactive and inflammatory processes.

Poor ageing exerts a heavy socioeconomic burden both nationally and globally. The aim of this proposal is to deepen understanding of the metabolic processes that underpin the ageing process and identify key metabolic pathways that influence health throughout ageing. Ageing is an inevitable biological phenomenon and is characterised by alterations in multiple biochemical, immunological and mechanical processes, which are influenced by the gut bacteria and therefore, an additional aim of the project's scope is to explore the role of microbial signalling and metabolism in the ageing process.

The project is an exciting opportunity and brings together cutting-edge science in molecular profiling, harnessing the power of the world’s largest academic metabolic phenotyping laboratory, with microbiomic technology. Expertise in ageing, metabolic phenotyping and microbiomics will be drawn from key experts across Australia and will be used to strengthen existing national networks.

The overall healthy ageing research program has a series of stratified, intercalated themes, designed to create specific analytical, informatic and biological platforms and will be associated with training/capacity building in metabolic profiling, microbiomic technologies, bioinformatics and data fusion. As such, the research program is multifaceted, bringing together state-of-the-art metabolic profiling and analytical chemistry with both conventional microbiology and functional microbiomic using advanced cheminformatics and computational modelling to deliver new knowledge on the metabolism of ageing and the influence of external influences including host-microbiome signalling and is therefore truly trans-disciplinary.

The successful applicant will have the opportunity to develop skills in analytical chemistry, bioinformatics, chemometrics, microbiomics, and systems biology. The data generation aspect of the project will focus on human biofluids to identify key profiles that change systematically with age. However, although human cohorts will be used in this study, and the knowledge generated may ultimately be used to improve health, the proposed research investigates the mechanistic process of ageing in 'healthy' individuals and is unrelated to specific medical questions.

Funding bodyMurdoch University
Study levelPhD
ValueStipend of $30,000 p.a for 3 years.
DurationScholarship payments for 3 yrs (full-time enrolment up to 4 yrs).

Applicants must meet the requirements of Murdoch University’s Graduate Research Office to be eligible (first or upper second-class Honours degree, Masters degree by research, or equivalent).

Applicants must demonstrate strong knowledge and research skills in a relevant discipline, be highly motivated and demonstrate the drive to work both independently and within a team towards timely completion of research. Familiarity with analytical techniques such as mass spectrometry and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy is favourable, but not a pre-requisite.

Applicants must be able to commence no later than 28 February 2022.

Apply by30 November 2021
To apply

Please email the following documentation to Sara Lim:

  1. Cover letter outlining your suitability for the position
  2. Copy of your complete academic transcript
  3. Academic CV

Selected applicants will be then invited to interview and submit proposals via Murdoch University’s postgraduate scholarship application process.


For more information about the project, contact Sara Lim.

For more information about the application process, contact the Graduate Research School at Murdoch University.