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How do viral capsids subvert host defences and deliver viral genomes into the host cell nucleus?


   School of Medical Sciences

   Applications accepted all year round  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Seeking a curious PhD student to join our interdisciplinary Structural Virology and Molecular

Machines group at the EMBL Australia Node in Single Molecule Science (SMS) at UNSW Sydney.

We want to hear from you if observing the molecular arms race between host cells and pathogens, using advanced fluorescence microscopy and structural approaches, excites you.

We are a team of scientifically and culturally diverse researchers embedded in the dynamic and supportive culture at SMS, which fosters collaborations between research groups.

Project: Our group specialises in assembling molecular machines from the bottom-up and observing them in action, using single-molecule imaging, to work out how they operate. We then test how these operating principles play out in cells. We aim to discover how the HIV capsid assembles and disassembles, and how the capsid co-opts cellular machinery to move along microtubules, traverse the nuclear pore complex, and copy its genomic RNA into DNA.

About you: Applications are encouraged from creative and open-minded students with a degree in biochemistry, molecular or cell biology, biophysics, or virology; 4-year BSc or equivalent degree that includes at least 9 months research project with examined thesis. We value thinking outside the box and finding a common language to communicate across disciplines.

Benefits of the position:

• Scholarships covering tuition fees and living allowance

• Access to cutting-edge fluorescence microscopy, X-ray crystallography, (cryo)EM, proteomics facilities

• Travel to attend conferences and to visit our international collaborators

• Fun and collegial work culture, with ongoing training and developmental workshops

• We embrace equity, diversity and inclusion

How to apply: To apply, please send a cover letter detailing your research experience and what attracted you to this project, your academic transcript and CV, and contact details for two referees to

More details: https://sms.unsw.edu.au/till-bocking or https://sms.unsw.edu.au/david-jacques. Twitter: @SingMolSci and @Mol_Machines

Funding notes: Living allowance of $28,854 per annum (2022 RTP rate) for 3 years with possible 6-month extension.


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