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Editing the age-stage of somatic cells

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Sunday, September 29, 2019
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About This PhD Project

Project Description

The laboratory’s research is centred around the in-depth profiling of transcriptional and epigenetic changes that occur during cellular transitions, to understand their molecular basis and to control them. Age is the biggest risk factor for many diseases. Currently we can only delay our physical decline through diet and exercise. A breakthrough in therapies would lessen or reverse this decline to prevent both human suffering and the economic burden of age-related diseases.

On a cellular level, ageing appears to be a largely epigenetic phenomenon that can be manipulated by pluripotency induction or transient expression of iPSC reprogramming factors. As part of the project we are studying age-related changes of the transcription factor (TF) network of different cell types (including somatic stem cell populations that renew organs under homeostatic and injury conditions). The aim is to understand how TF network changes during the life cycle potentiate cellular functional decline. The successful applicant will use cutting edged techniques and model systems to investigate the effect of candidate TFs and epigenetic modifiers on the functional and molecular properties of different cell types (e.g. intestinal stem cells). By pinpointing and targeting what makes cells age, we want to “reprogramme” aged cells back towards working more efficiently, like young cells do, without a need for pluripotency induction.

The interdisciplinary nature of the project, and diverse background of researchers within the Nefzger group, will provide the candidate with access to state of the art equipment and training in this new research area.


To be eligible, you must meet the entry requirements for a higher degree by research (

How to apply

To be considered for this scholarship, please email the following documents to Dr Christian Nefzger ()

- Cover letter
- CV
- Academic transcript/s
- Any other documents you would like to receive

Please note the following: Submitting the above documents does not constitute a full application for admission into The University of Queensland's PhD program. If you are selected as the preferred applicant, you will then be invited to submit a full application for admission. You can familiarise yourself with the documents required for this process on the Graduate School's website.

Selection criteria

The ideal candidate has previous experience in basic molecular techniques and mammalian cell culture.

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