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  Chimeric Molecules for Targeted Protein Post-Translational Modifications

   School of Chemistry

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  Dr Xuyu Liu  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Our group is interested in diverse applications of peptide and protein chemistry and chemical probes, from natural product discovery and therapeutic innovation to chemical proteomics and cell signalling. For more information about our group’s recent projects, see

This is an ARC-funded project aims to develop innovative chemical technologies to understand how proteins and protein post-translational modifications influence cellular function in living systems. This project will develop a new roadmap to assess the utility of chimeric molecules designed based on the PROTAC concept and study how these molecules mediate precision protein modifications in spatio-temporally controlled manner. Expected outcomes include demonstrating the capacity of precise molecular engineering where protein structure, location and function can be modulated on demand within a cell without the need for permanent gene editing. This project also has the capacity to inspire new drug discovery approaches more broadly. For example, in circumstances where invoking a specific post-translational modification event on a protein can be therapeutic in and of itself.

We are looking for a highly motivated, passionate and competitive candidate to carry out PhD research in chimeric molecules for targeted protein modifications in an international team focussing on therapeutic innovation and translation for cardiovascular disease.

Selection criteria: Applications are invited from outstanding and enthusiastic graduates who have:

o  An Honours degree (First Class) or a Master's degree in a related field with a substantial research component

o  A strong background in organic synthesis and/or peptide chemistry

o  Analytical thinking, data analysis and critical problem-solving skills

o  Ability to work independently and in a team environment

o  Applicants with publications in a related field will be highly regarded

o  Fluency in both written and oral English, demonstrating the capability to meet the minimum English requirement for university entry

Skills gained include: Organic synthesis, peptide and protein chemistry, chemical proteomics, cell culturing, bioinformatic analysis and design of animal studies.

Required: BSc/MSc with a Major in medicinal chemistry, chemical biology or a related discipline; Experience with organic synthesis; Experience with interpreting NMR and LC-MS spectra. A willingness to learn bioinformatics, in vitro and in vivo experiments for therapeutic validation.

PhD program: At USyd our PhD program is 3 years of full time research, with some coursework requirements.

Eligibility: The position is open to domestic and international students

You must meet the English language requirements in order to apply. (

You must have the equivalent of a 4-year undergraduate degree, with at least 9 months of research and an examined thesis (equivalent to USyd 1st Class Honours, see

Chemistry (6)

Funding Notes

The available stipends will match the Australian Government Research Training Program scholarship (2023 rate = $29,863).
How to apply: email Dr Liu your CV, academic transcript (undergraduate and any postgraduate coursework grades) and the contact details for at least two referees.


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