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Investigation of a novel cell death protein


   The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute

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  Prof Seth Masters, Prof Matthias Geyer  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

This project is being offered as part of the Bonn and Melbourne Research and Graduate Group, a joint PhD program in Immunology between the University of Bonn and Melbourne (https://bonnmelb-phdprogram.com). Melbourne-based project: The majority of time for this project may be spent in Melbourne, Australia.

Melbourne supervisor: A/Prof Seth Masters; The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research; The University of Melbourne

Bonn supervisor: Prof Matthias Geyer; Institute of Structural Biology, University of Bonn

Project Description

Taking advantage of recent advances in the prediction of protein folds we have identified an uncharacterised protein that appears to be involved in cell death. This project will use unbiased approaches to determine the signalling pathways that the protein regulates and precisely how it may function to regulate cell death in contexts such as cancer, inflammation and infection. This could be related to programmed cell death such as apoptosis, necroptosis or the inflammasome and pyroptosis. Starting with studies in the Masters laboratory (Australia) we will make cell line models with CRISPR deletion or overexpression of the protein and/or its relevant domains, and interrogate them using the world class medical research techniques available at WEHI. The project will then move for the final year of the PhD to the Geyer laboratory (Germany) for biophysical and structural studies of the heretofore uncharacterised protein. Through this work we expect to determine the cellular and biochemical role of the protein, which may provide opportunities for drug discovery and an improved understanding of fundamental biological process relevant to human disease.

Academic Entry Requirements

We welcome applications from all countries and nationalities. To be eligible for entry you are expected to have successfully completed your BSc and MSc degree (or close to completion) in Biology, Immunology, Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, or related fields and achieved an overall average of greater than 80%. This is a minimum entry requirement and serves as a guide only. You are also required to have completed a research project that accounts to at least 25% of one year of study and must possess excellent English language skills. Additional qualifications and/or experience in a relevant field, reference reports and scientific publications will also be taken into consideration.

Funding includes:

  • Stipend $32,400 per year pro rata (2022 full-time study rate, includes sick pay, maternity and parental leave), for up to 3 years with a possible 6-month extension.
  • 100% fee remission up to $110,000
  • One-off relocation grant of up to AUS$3,000 for international students relocating to Melbourne
  • Insurance
  • Travel costs for exchange to Bonn

How to Apply

Candidates who meet the minimum entry requirements are asked to submit the following documents via email:

  1. Letter of motivation
  2. CV in German or English language
  3. Electronic copy of your full BSc and MSc University transcripts (or equivalent) in
  4. German or English language
  5. Evidence of English language competency (study abroad, IELTS, TOEFL, or similar)

Contact/application to: [Email Address Removed]

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