Molecular Investigation of Host-Parasite Interactions

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Molecular Investigation of Host-Parasite Interactions


Applications are invited to be submitted to the Office of Research by 4pm on 16 March 2018.

This scholarship will help support student research to fill important gaps in our understanding of the molecular components that regulate aquatic host-parasite interactions; an interaction that contributes to many diseases world-wide. This project will use an aquatic snail host and helminth parasite interaction system to assess how host excretory-secretory molecules (snail odours) influence parasite-host interaction.

Our research group focus is on molecular communication processes, which involves the investigation of cell signalling biomolecules that regulate functions such as reproduction, growth, cell cycle, and pheromone communication. The outcomes of this project will help inform the development of approaches to deter host-parasite interactions, thus controlling aquatic intermediate host infection. We will also gain new fundamental insights into how aquatic animals communicate. The snail Biomphalaria and helminth Schistosoma interplay provides an excellent model system for this research, to build upon an in-depth understanding that builds upon foundation data driving this research. This project will require gene and protein investigations, through wet lab and computational approaches. The student will have the opportunity to obtain knowledge within interdisciplinary sciences, combining the fields of molecular biology, biochemistry and bioinformatics. Experts in the relevant fields will mentor the student.

For more information contact A/Prof Scott Cummins;

  • Domestic student or International HDR student at USC
  • Bachelors Degree with First Class Honours or equivalent previous study, relevant work experience, research publications, or other research experience
  • Maintain satisfactory progress
  • Not hold an equivalent qualification to the one currently being applied for
  • Not have previously held a Commonwealth-funded postgraduate research scholarship unless it was terminated within six months of the current scholarship’s payments commencing
  • Not be the recipient of an equivalent award, scholarship, or salary, providing a benefit greater than 75 percent of the RTP rate to undertake a HDR. Income unrelated to the course of study is not to be taken into account.
Selection criteria:
  • Academic qualifications
  • Alignment of the proposed research to one of USC’s areas of research concentration
  • Record of research publications
  • Professional research experience
  • Existing knowledge in molecular biology and basic bioinformatics.
  • Good communication and writing skills
  • Ability to work both independently and in teams
Eligible programs:
Doctor of Philosophy
Number available:
Stipend commensurate with the RTP rate (2018 rate - A$27,082), Tuition Fees and Overseas Health Cover for the standard duration of the program
Please submit applications to
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