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  Evaluating the clinical utility of osteoarthritis pain phenotypes

   Menzies Institute for Medical Research

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  Dr Feng Pan  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

The impact of osteoarthritis pain phenotypes on health outcomes and their mechanisms

About the research project

Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis and is the leading cause of pain and disability. With the growing aging population, along with the increase in obesity, OA has become a huge societal and economic burden in the developed world. Despite this, there are no effective disease-modifying OA drugs and the existing pain therapies have limited efficacy and a substantial risk of adverse events. OA pain is highly heterogeneous, with pain presentations varying among patients. Therefore, it is not surprising to see far disappointing results from “one-size fits all” treatment approaches in OA pain patients. This project will directly address this need by identifying pain phenotypes and providing an optimal patient selection tool.

We have demonstrated that OA pain consists of distinct phenotypes/subgroups, and their clinical prognoses (e.g., joint replacement, fractures) differ among distinct pain phenotypes in a longitudinal population-based cohort study --Tasmanian Older Adult Cohort Study (TASOAC). These phenotypes appear to be clinically useful for stratifying patients and improving the clinical management of OA pain patients. This project is to evaluate and validate the clinical prognoses of distinct pain phenotypes in TASOAC and an international large cohort study to verify the clinical utility of pain phenotypes, and to explore the underlying mechanisms of the links.



Applicants will be considered for a Research Training Program (RTP) scholarship or Tasmania Graduate Research Scholarship (TGRS) which, if successful, provides:

  • a living allowance stipend of $28,597 per annum (2021 rate, indexed annually) for 3.5 years
  • a relocation allowance of up to $2,000
  • a tuition fees offset covering the cost of tuition fees for up to four years (domestic applicants only)

If successful, international applicants will receive a University of Tasmania Fees Offset for up to four years.

As part of the application process you may indicate if you do not wish to be considered for scholarship funding.


The project is open to domestic (Australian and New Zealand) and international applicants.

Applicants should review the Higher Degree by Research minimum entry requirements.

Selection Criteria

The project is competitively assessed and awarded.  Selection is based on academic merit and suitability to the project as determined by the College.

Application process

After checking and ensuring that you meet the eligibility and selection criteria contact the project supervisor.

Medicine (26)
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 About the Project