PhD Scholarship in Cancer Therapeutics Lab

Brisbane, Australia
05 Jan 2018
End of advertisement period
28 Jan 2018
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

The School of Biomedical Sciences

The University of Queensland School of Biomedical Sciences is a distinguished centre for teaching and research in the academic disciplines of Anatomy, Developmental Biology, Physiology, Pharmacology and Pathology. The School has more than 40 full-time research and teaching staff and is one of the largest Schools of its type in Australia. It has links to other prestigious research centres on the St Lucia campus including the Queensland Brain Institute (QBI), the Institute of Molecular Bioscience (IMB) and the Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (AIBN). Our diverse research provides an exciting environment for national and international research fellows and higher degree students. It is concerned with advancing the understanding of how cellular mechanisms contribute to the function of the human body in health and disease.  Details of the research interests of academic staff may be accessed on the school’s web site at

In addition to its graduate research programs, the School teaches undergraduate students in Science, Medicine, and Health Sciences.

The Cancer Therapeutics Lab

The Cancer Therapeutics Lab headed by Dr. Sherry Wu is interested in developing novel nano-therapeutic methods to overcome immune suppression in ovarian cancer. The high recurrence rate is a major challenge in the clinical management of high grade serous ovarian cancer. While stimulating our own immune system to recognise and attack tumour cells represents an attractive means to facilitate complete elimination of tumours, emerging data suggest that many of the immunotherapy tools, such as immune checkpoint inhibitors, are minimally active in ovarian cancer. We aim to develop effective strategies to enhance the infiltration and function of cytotoxic T lymphocytes in ovarian tumours and to develop clinically feasible means to monitor T-lymphocytes activity in tumours following therapy. Ultimately, strategies developed in this project could harness the power of the immune system to eliminate tumours and significantly increase the survival of patients with ovarian cancer.

The role

The successful applicant will be provided with a School-sponsored PhD scholarship, including stipend support commensurable with current Australian Postgraduate Award (APA) rates. The appointee will, however, be expected to apply for ongoing support via the APA, UQ, and other PhD scholarship schemes. The appointee will develop and pursue a project in fields of cancer nanomedicine and tumour immunology and will also contribute to a supportive and intellectually vibrant lab culture.

The PhD candidate will learn to develop (1) strategies to enhance the infiltration and function of cytotoxic T lymphocytes in ovarian tumours, (2) novel nanoparticle platforms for tumour-targeted delivery, and (3) techniques to reliably image therapeutic responses in mouse models of ovarian cancer. They will gain experience in working in a multidisciplinary environment, perform advanced molecular and cellular biology techniques, cell imaging, and animal studies using cancer nanotherapeutics. The candidate will also be required to contribute to other research activities in the laboratory, research publications, and presentations.

The person

We are seeking a motivated student who is interested in nanotechnology and cancer biology, and who is driven to develop effective strategies to enhance anti-tumour immunity. Prospective students with interests in these areas are encouraged to apply. Applicants should possess an appropriate qualification for entry into the PhD training scheme at University of Queensland, and should have prior relevant research experience.

 You must have the right to live and work in Australia to apply for this position.


The stipend is equivalent to the APA rate, $27,082 per annum, (2018 rate, indexed annually). The scholarship will be for three (3) years with the possibility of two six (6)-month extensions and is subject to the UQ Research Scholarship General Conditions. In some cases, a further top-up to this stipend may be available.


To discuss this role further, please contact Dr. Sherry Wu at

To submit an application for this role, use the Apply button below. All applicants must supply the following documents: a Cover letter (including the names of 3 referees, one of whom should be your immediate/Honours supervisor), a Resume, and a statement describing your interests and why you would be a good fit for the Cancer Therapeutics Lab. To be considered for the role please submit all 3 documents.

Review of applications will begin on January 15th, 2018, and will continue until the position is filled.

Important: Please do not send your application directly to the person listed in the enquiries section of the advertisement. Applications not received via the online system will not be considered.

Similar jobs

Similar jobs