PhD Scholarship in Cancer Cell Biology

Brisbane, Australia
05 Jan 2018
End of advertisement period
02 Feb 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 role

The PhD student will lead an exciting project within the Cell Cycle Control Group at the SBMS to study how cell growth and cell cycle proliferation are controlled by ubiquitin-mediated proteolysis.  The Cell Cycle group at SBMS is a newly established group at SBMS focusing on understanding how disruption of cell cycle control leads to cancer cell hyperproliferation. The group studies how a sub-class of ubiquitin ligases called SCF ubiquitin ligases mediate the degradation of proteins involved in organelle division.

The successful candidate will work in a collaborative, multidisciplinary environment and gain experience performing advanced molecular and cellular biology techniques and advanced cell imaging. The candidate will also have the opportunity to contribute to ongoing research activities in the laboratory, including research publications and presentations.

Please read the following references for background:

1: Pagan JK, Marzio A, Jones MJ, Saraf A, Jallepalli PV, Florens L, Washburn MP, Pagano M. Degradation of Cep68 and PCNT cleavage mediate Cep215 removal from the PCM to allow centriole separation, disengagement and licensing. Nat Cell Biol. 2015 Jan;17(1):31-43. doi: 10.1038/ncb3076. Epub 2014 Dec 15. PubMed PMID: 25503564; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4415623.

2: Skaar JR, Pagan JK, Pagano M. Mechanisms and function of substrate recruitment by F-box proteins. Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2013 Jun;14(6):369-81. doi: 10.1038/nrm3582. Epub 2013 May 9. Review. PubMed PMID: 23657496; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3827686.

The person

Expressions of Interest are invited from outstanding and enthusiastic science graduates ideally with a background in cell biology, molecular biology, developmental biology, or other relevant discipline. You should have a strong desire to develop a successful research career, good general research skills, a systematic approach to problem solving, very good writing abilities, and the capacity to work well with others.  Candidates will have a First Class Honours degree or equivalent and should be eligible for UQ scholarship consideration. Candidates will be responsible for experimental design, data analyses, and manuscript preparation, and will also be expected to support applications for funding to support their research focus.  Relevant laboratory experience, particularly in sterile tissue culture, western blotting and microscopy is highly desirable. Demonstrated research capacity (research outputs such as publications or conference presentations) will be highly regarded.

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.

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

The University of Queensland values diversity and inclusion.

Applications are particularly encouraged from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. For further information please contact our Australian Indigenous Employment Coordinator at:   

Applications are also encouraged from women.

This role is a full-time position; however flexible working arrangements may be negotiated.


Selected prospective 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 (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: Excellent candidates will have the opportunity to apply for top-up scholarships and international travel scholarships, to enable research training opportunities in overseas laboratories.


To discuss this role and for further information, please contact Dr. Julia Pagan at

All applicants must supply the following documents: cover letter (including a research statement describing your research interests); complete official tertiary academic transcript (with grades/GPA scores, and official grading scale details); and a detailed academic resume/CV (including the names of 2 referees, one of whom should be your immediate supervisor).

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