PhD Scholarship on Translational Imaging of Dementia

Brisbane, Australia
03 Oct 2018
End of advertisement period
01 Feb 2019
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Queensland Brain Institute

Established in 2003, Queensland Brain Institute ( is housed on the St Lucia campus of University of Queensland, Australia. It is home to more than 400 staff, including 41 group leaders, working across a range of disciplines, focussed on discovering the fundamental mechanisms that regulate brain development and function in health and disease.

QBI has state-of-the-art core facilities for super resolution microscopy, flow cytometry, molecular genetics, histochemistry and cognitive testing. Access is also available to an advanced imaging facility, including 16.4T MRI, 9.4T MRI (with cryoprobe), 7T MR-PET and microPET/CT for animal imaging, and 7T, 3T and PET/CT for human imaging, housed in the Centre for Advanced Imaging.

Over the past decade QBI has positioned itself as one of the world's leading neuroscience research institutes. It played a key role in contributing to UQ attaining the highest possible score of 5 for neuroscience, in both the 2010 and 2012 Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) reviews, one of only two universities in Australia to achieve this.

The Role

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disease that affects growing number of population in the aging society. As it is incurable, early detection is essential so that early intervention can be conducted. Using advanced neuroimaging, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and positron emission tomography (PET), pathological and cognitive related changes could be detected noninvasively and hold potential for early diagnosis. Among the pathologies, cerebrovascular dysfunction has been found in prodromal and clinical AD. However, its pathogenic relationship in AD is still not clear.

A PhD student position is available based in the Chuang lab at the Queensland Brain Institute to work on a collaborative project with the Australian eHealth Research Centre of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) to understand the early change in cerebrovascular function using cerebral blood flow (CBF) measured by MRI and amyloid load measured by PET from mid-age, high-risk but cognitive normal human subjects.

A parallel study in mouse models of AD will be conducted to understand the potential mechanisms. The successful student will learn a range of methods including MRI/PET, functional brain mapping, image analysis and animal experiments. The understanding of cerebrovascular changes in human and animal models will improve our understanding of disease mechanism/process, and would lead to better intervention for dementia by improving vascular health.

To know more about the Chuang Groups, please go to:

The Person

Expressions of Interest are invited from outstanding and enthusiastic, international and Australian, science graduates ideally with a background in neuroscience, biophysics, or other relevant scientific discipline. Candidates will have a First Class Honours degree or equivalent and should be eligible for UQ scholarship consideration. Experience with quantitative methods, as well as familiarity with MATLAB or other programming languages area preferable. Some background in neuroscience and fMRI would be an advantage.

Applicants must fulfil the PhD admission criteria for the University of Queensland, including meeting English language requirements, and demonstrating excellent capacity and potential for research. Demonstration of research ability through publication output in peer reviewed international journals is desirable.

For further information on entry requirements, please visit  Successful applicants must accept and commence within 6 months of receiving an award.


Selected prospective international and domestic students will receive assistance to apply for University living allowance and tuition fee scholarships. The 2018 Research Training Program (RTP) living allowance stipend rate is AUD$27,082 per annum (indexed annually), which is tax-free for three years with two possible extensions of up to 6 months each in approved circumstances (conditions apply).

 For further information on scholarships refer to:


Further information regarding the project can be obtained by contacting Kai-Hsiang Chuang ( 

To submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) for consideration, ensure you use the UQ Jobs online recruitment system by following the Apply button below.  All applicants must supply the following documents: cover letter; complete official tertiary academic transcripts (with grades/GPA scores, and official grading scale details) and award certificates (testamurs); and a detailed academic resume/CV.

Important: please do not send your EOI directly to the contact person listed in this section of the advertisement. EOIs not received via the UQ Jobs online system will not be considered.

For information on completing the application process click here.

Please note the EOI closing date below is for both domestic and international candidates leading up to the UQ Graduate School scholarship round as advertised on their website:

Expression of Interest Closing Dates:

International and domestic candidates: 1st February 2019 – for consideration in relation to the UQ scholarship rounds with commencement in Research Quarter 3 (July) 2019.