Australian Research Council Linkage project to develop a “gut-on-a-chip” PhD scholarship
Expressions of Interest are being sought from potential PhD students to characterise the optimal conditions to detect, grow and amplify C. hominis & C. parvum in the gut-on-a-chip, characterise the optimal conditions to detect and grow norovirus and adenovirus in the gut-on-a-chip, and validate the gut-on-a-chip as a detection and viability assay for Cryptosporidium, norovirus and adenovirus.
Cryptosporidium, norovirus and adenovirus are among the major causes of gastroenteritis in Australia, which is estimated to cost Australia more than AUD$1 billion annually. The ever-present threat to public health from these pathogens requires sound characterisation and management of risks, including monitoring of infection sources and validation of control measures. This is, however, particularly problematic due to (1) the lack of commercially available Cryptosporidium hominis oocysts (the main species infecting humans in Australia) as controls for disinfection studies and monitoring techniques, and (2) lack of fast and reliable viability assays for these three enteric pathogens.
We are seeking a highly motivated PhD candidate to work as part of a team on an ARC Linkage project (ARC LP170100096) entitled “Development and validation of rapid detection and viability assays for Cryptosporidium, Norovirus, and Adenovirus using a novel gut-on-a-chip”.
The project is in collaboration with Dr Mark O’Dea and Dr. Alireza Zahedi from Murdoch University, Professor Benjamin Thierry from the University of South Australia, Associate Professor Jillian Carr at Flinders University, Dr Paul Monis and Dr Brendon King from South Australian Water, Dr. Andrew Ball from Water NSW, Dr. Duncan Middleton from Seqwater in Queensland and Dr Nicholas Crosbie from Melbourne Water.
Our research team has already developed a miniaturised computer-controlled gut-on-a-chip and has successfully demonstrated that human intestinal cells cultured in our gut-on-a-chip can support infection by C. parvum. Using this technology, the PhD candidate will aim to (1) Characterise the optimal conditions to detect, grow and amplify C. hominis & C. parvum in the gut-on-a-chip, (2) Characterise the optimal conditions to detect and grow norovirus and adenovirus in the gut-on-a-chip, and (3) Validate the gut-on-a-chip as a detection and viability assay for Cryptosporidium, norovirus and adenovirus.
Murdoch University (MU) is a research-led university with a reputation for world-class research in Biological Sciences. In the 2015 Excellence in Research for Australia rankings, MU was ranked 5 for Medical Microbiology and 4 or above the standard for Evolutionary Biology, Genetics, Microbiology, Zoology and Environmental Science & Management. The candidate will work in the Vector and Waterborne Pathogens Research Group (VWBPRG) at MU, which is an internationally-recognised research group with a diverse research culture.
|Funding body||Vector and Waterborne Pathogens Research Group Murdoch University|
|Value||A Full Time Scholarship will carry a stipend of $27,082 per year with annual increments.|
|Duration||3 years with the potential to apply for 6 months extension. The position will be filled as soon as possible.|
|Apply by||April 12th 2019 but the position will be filled as soon as possible.|
|To apply||To apply, interested candidates are invited to send their Curriculum Vitae, a 1-2 page outline of:|
|Contact||Please direct all questions about this scholarship to the Professor Una Ryan|