Identifying genetic determinants of COVID-19 pathogenesis

University of Technology Sydney
November 01, 2023
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Prof. Phil Hansbro leads the Centre for Inflammation and has built an internationally renowned research program investigating major chronic respiratory diseases that have no effective therapies. The Centre focus is on developing new preventatives and treatments for diseases such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), severe asthma and COVID-19 by using unique cellular and mouse models representative of each of these human diseases. These models are used to understand pathogenesis, identify novel targets and develop/test new therapies. Complementary human studies are also be used to translate findings and identify other targets.

This project will identify genetic determinants of COVID-19 pathogenesis. To do this, we will work in our state-of-the-art PC3/BSL3 laboratory that was recently established for handling SARS-CoV-2. We specialise in cellular and animal models to investigate disease pathogenesis and identify novel treatments for COVID-19. In this project, we will use genetically modified mouse models to interrogate disease pathways that may contribute to the development or resistance of COVID-19. These will be further complemented with targeted drug studies to confirm the mechanisms of action responsible for COVID-19 pathogenesis.

You will be jointly supervised by Prof Philip Hansbro (Director, Centre for Inflammation) and Dr Matt Johansen (Node Leader, Bacterial and Viral Immunopathogenesis) who are established experts in the field.

Who is eligible?
  • Applicants should be either permanent Australian residents or New Zealand citizens. International students are also encouraged to apply.
  • Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree in a biomedical or biological science
  • Have a strong academic record and prior laboratory experience
  • Completion of 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
  • Be comfortable working with pathogens in a PC3/BSL3 laboratory
  • How to apply

    Applicants should send their CV, list of publications, and selection criteria to Prof. Phil Hansbro ([email protected]) by the closing date. Shortlisted candidates will be advised with further details.

    Need more information? Contact...

    Please contact [email protected] for further information.

    Other information

    The University of Technology Sydney (UTS) is Australia’s Top Young University and ranked within the Top 200 universities worldwide. Its vibrant campus is located in the center of Sydney, with easy access to all amenities and transport that is ideally suited for PhD student living.

    The Centre for Inflammation (the Centre) is the first initiative joint programme between the University of UTS and Centenary Institute (CI).

    The Centre, led by Professor Phil Hansbro, is a large, internationally renowned and world-leading research centre in chronic respiratory diseases, and is recognised by Australian industry and government agencies as a leading source of knowledge and expertise in this space. The Centre carries out fundamental, discovery and translational research. We investigate the mechanisms of disease induction and progression, research and develop new and novel therapies and preventatives, as well as translational human and clinical studies.

    The Centre is located in the Centenary Institute of Cancer Medicine And Cell Biology is a world-leading independent medical research institute, closely affiliated to the University of Sydney and the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. Our research focuses on three key areas: cancer, inflammation and infectious disease. Our strength lies in uncovering disease mechanisms and applying this knowledge to improve diagnostics and treatments for patients. Centenary Institute is located at Camperdown.


    $32,500 per year (RTP Stipend rate, indexed annually); additional funds ($7.5k) during the course for PhD-related expenses.


    3.5 years








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