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A structural model of fungal cell walls for screening of anti-fungal drugs

   The School of Chemistry & Molecular Biosciences

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  Dr ED Deplazes  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

About this scholarship

Supervisor: Dr Evelyne Deplazes

This project aims to develop a cell-free, structural model of fungal cell walls to accelerate the development of new antifungal drugs.

Invasive fungal infections are an under-appreciated cause of illness and kill over 1.5 million people a year, with immunocompromised people being most at risk. The toxicity of existing antifungal drugs, combined with the emergence of antimicrobial resistance, creates an urgent need for new antifungal treatments.

The project will use a combination of physical and polymer chemistry and material characterisation techniques to develop a cell-free structural model of a fungal cell wall that allows for the systematic screening of anti-fungal compounds and their interactions with different cell wall components.

This project has a strong focus on method and prototype development. In addition to being highly motivated, enthusiastic, and self-directed, the candidate needs to be creative and have a passion for innovation.

Research environment

The PhD candidate will work under the primary supervision of Dr Evelyne Deplazes at the UQ School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences. Her multidisciplinary research group combines both experimental and computational approaches to study the interaction of small molecules and peptides with biological membranes. This project will also involve collaborations with polymer chemists and scientists at the national neutron scattering facilities.


You're eligible if you meet the entry requirements for a higher degree by research.

How to apply

Before submitting an application you should:

You apply for this scholarship when you submit an application for a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). You don't need to submit a separate scholarship application.

When you apply, please ensure that under the scholarships and collaborative study section you:

  1. Select ‘My higher degree is not collaborative’
  2. Select 'I am applying for, or have been awarded a scholarship or sponsorship'.
  3. Select ‘Other’, then ‘Research Project Scholarship’ and type in ‘FUNGAL-DEPLAZES’ in the 'Name of scholarship' field.

Start your application

Selection criteria

Your application will be assessed on a competitive basis.

We take into account your:

  • previous academic record
  • publication record
  • honours and awards
  • employment history

A working knowledge of physical and polymer chemistry, structural biology and material characterisation techniques in the context of chemical and biological systems would be of benefit to someone working on this project.

You will demonstrate academic achievement in the field/s of chemistry, biophysics, biomedical engineering or biomaterial science and the potential for scholastic success.

A background or knowledge of membrane biophysics or material science in a biological context is highly desirable.


A domestic part-time student with carer’s responsibilities, a medical condition or a disability, which prevents them from studying full time may be eligible for scholarship consideration, on a case-by-case basis.

UQ Research Scholarships terms and conditions

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