Molecular Virology and Structural Biology is a key driver to understand virus evolution and viral protein/DNA interacting interfaces, which are critical in the viral infection and assembly processes. These pieces of information are vital for the conservation of animal health essential for a sustainable ecosystem.
PhD projects, linked to an ARC-funded project, are available to:
- characterise binding interfaces involved in circovirus protein complexes to facilitate the development of potential anti-viral options against deadly viral infections in native endangered avian species - uncover molecular evolution of viruses through study of a novel virus recently been sequenced from an endangered avian species followed by structural characterisation of a critical viral proteins.
Viruses are opportunistic pathogens that infect hosts cells, internally replicate before emerging and spread of infection. Spontaneous assembly of a protein shell (capsid) around the viral nucleic acid genome is an essential step in the viral life cycle. However, the mechanism by which single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) viruses preferentially encapsidate their viral genome is not very well understood. A better understanding of this process using the smallest ssDNA virus, beak and feather disease virus (BFDV), will greatly enhance our understanding of the formation process of infectious particles, enabling further development of anti-viral options against DNA viral infections for which there are currently no vaccines or treatments. The candidate will work across the Molecular Virology and Structural Biology technologies under the supervision of Dr Subir Sarker in the Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Microbiology.
Benefits of the scholarship include: - a La Trobe Research Scholarship for three years, with a value of $27,596.00 per annum, to support your living costs [2019 rate] - a fee-relief scholarship (LTUFFRS) for four years to undertake a PhD at La Trobe University (international applicants only) - opportunities to work with La Trobe’s outstanding researchers, and industry-based stakeholder groups
Eligibility criteria To be eligible, you need to: - have either an Australian Bachelors degree with Honours at an H1 standard, be assessed at a H1 equivalence or, hold an approved International equivalent. - Be capable of working between groups and with outside stake holder groups.
How to apply
- Contact Dr Subir Sarker with a CV of no more than 3 pages and 2-page statement on academic background and research interests