PhD Scholarship: Interactions between leukemic stem cells and their environment

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Brisbane, Australia
14 Oct 2016
End of advertisement period
31 Oct 2016
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

PhD Scholarship: Interactions between leukemic stem cells and their environment The University of Queensland Diamantina Institute

The University of Queensland Diamantina Institute was established in 2007 as the sixth research institute of The University of Queensland. The aim of the Institute is to develop a better understanding of the molecular and cellular basis of disease, and to translate that understanding into practical outcomes for patients. Based at the Translational Research Institute (TRI) at the Princess Alexandra Hospital teaching campus in Brisbane, the Institute has almost 300 researchers and students who work closely with clinicians in the areas of cancer, immunology and genomic medicine. UQDI is the largest partner in TRI, and is building major programs in Immunology, Cancer and Genomic Medicine research, with a particular focus on research aimed at development of new treatments.  Details of the research interests of academic staff may be accessed on the Institute's web site at

The Role

The successful Scholar will pursue a PhD degree in the molecular biology of leukaemia by investigating interactions between leukaemia stem cells and their environment using a variety of in vitro and in vivo approaches.

The Project

Leukaemia stem cells are critical for disease persistence. Owing to their capacity for infinite self-renewal, they are resistant to existing non-targeted therapies, and are responsible for relapse in patients in whom initial therapy is successful. Their capacity for self-renewal is not entirely intrinsic; in part, they derive this capacity from their environment, the so-called microenvironment, which consists of stromal cells of many types, cytokines, and myriad other factors. Leukemic cells re-shape their microenvironment to make it more hospitable for themselves and less hospitable for healthy stem cells. Through this project, the candidate will identify and therapeutically target these re-shaping events to disrupt leukemic stem cell self-renewal.

The Person

The candidate will have a 1st Class Honours, a Masters or an equivalent degree in molecular biology or a related field, and a strong motivation to pursue a PhD degree. Applicants should have broad basic knowledge across molecular biology, cell biology and genetics. Relevant laboratory experience is highly desirable.


The base stipend will be at the rate of AUD$26 288 (this rate is equivalent to the standard UQ scholarship rate, 2016 rate, indexed annually) per annum tax-free for three years with the possibility of a six month extension in approved circumstances, and is subject to the UQ Research Scholarship General Conditions. The successful applicant will subsequently be encouraged to apply for a UQ Graduate School Scholarship.


For further information about the research project, please contact Dr Chris Slape ( To submit an application for this role, use the Apply button below. All applicants must supply the following documents: Cover letter, CV/Resume and Academic Records (indicating GPA scores/grades).

For information about entering the UQ PhD program and for the full terms and conditions, please visit the UQ Graduate School website at  Please note that at this stage of the process you do not need to complete the online application for admission form. Shortlisted candidates will be interviewed by the lead researcher and the successful applicant will be provided with information on how to apply for admission to UQ.  The shortlisted candidate will also be put into the Graduate School scholarship round.