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The Role of Mast Cell Proteases in Lung Infection at the University of Technology Sydney, Australia 2023

Application is now open for The Role of Mast Cell Proteases in Lung Infection at the University of Technology Sydney. Interested candidates are encouraged to send their applications in before the deadline date.

About the University of Technology Sydney and Scholarship

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia is home to the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), a public research university. The university was founded in 1988, however, its origins as a technical school may be traced back to 1878 through the Sydney Technical College, the precursor of the New South Wales Institute of Technology (NSWIT).

Outstanding individuals with a background in biomedical sciences, pharmacology, pharmacy, or a related field are encouraged to apply for a fully supported Ph.D. fellowship at the Centenary Institute’s Centre For Inflammation, directed by Dr. Elinor Hortle and Prof. Phil Hansbro.


Influenza, P. aeruginosa, and S. pneumoniae Three typical respiratory infections, viruses, are in charge of severe illness and fatalities. 25% of avoidable infant deaths are attributable to S. pneumoniae, P. aeruginosa is a major source of hospital-acquired infections, and seasonal influenza epidemics result in 500,000 fatalities annually.

Mast cells are long-lived tissue-resident immune cells that are associated with allergies. They are positioned in the lungs so that they can detect infections and emit a variety of proinflammatory mediators to either draw in more cells or directly eliminate any pathogens that are already there. They may be excellent targets for host-directed treatments to treat respiratory infections because of these factors.

Large granules of bioactive proteins, such as proteases, growth factors, immunological signaling molecules, and histamine, are found inside mature mast cells. These mediators are released from the cell during degranulation and mast cell activation. Although it has been shown that mast cells play a crucial role in the immune response to infections with S. pneumoniae, P. aeruginosa, and influenza A, it is unknown how specific mast cell proteases contribute to infection and illness. It is believed that some proteases aid in regulating the number of pathogens present, whereas other proteases support harmful inflammation.

In this study, the function of mast cells in the host response to lung infection will be examined using genetically altered mice that lack certain mast cell proteins. Learning more about these host-pathogen interactions may lead to the discovery of novel therapeutic approaches for respiratory disorders.

Through this research, you will develop your knowledge of molecular biology techniques, cell culture, flow cytometry, in vivo and in vitro viral and bacterial infection, and animal care.

Details about The Role of Mast Cell Proteases in Lung Infection at the University of Technology Sydney:

Scholarship Sponsor: University of Technology Sydney, Australia

Scholarship Value: $32,500 per year (RTP Stipend rate, indexed annually); additional funds ($7.5k) during the PhD for travel and other PhD-related expenses. 

Number of awards: N/A

Study level: PhD

Host Institution(s): University of Technology Sydney, Australia

Eligibility Criteria for The Role of Mast Cell Proteases in Lung Infection

Candidates are advised to meet the following requirements to be eligible for The Role of Mast Cell Proteases in Lung Infection at the University of Technology Sydney:

  • Candidates must be either nationals of New Zealand or permanent residents of Australia.
  • Candidates must be holders of a bachelor’s degree in a biological or medical field.
  • Have a proven track record in the classroom and have laboratory experience
  • Completion of an Honours degree with a First Class, Second Class, or Division 1; an MSc in Research; or an MSc in Coursework with a research thesis lasting at least six months. 

Selection Procedure

  • Outstanding communication abilities, the ability to work with a variety of people, and the capability to work both alone and as a member of established collaborative teams. possess a strong work ethic and the capacity to work alone.
  • Recognize the setup and circumstances of a research or lab.
  • Know the most popular computer research programs.
  • ELISA, RNA extraction, reverse transcription, qPCR, western blotting, cell culture, aseptic method, histological analysis, immunohistochemistry, immunofluorescence, flow cytometry, and primer design are examples of common lab techniques to know of. 
  • Be able to perform in vivo mouse models.

Application Process for The Role of Mast Cell Proteases in Lung Infection

Prof. Phil Hansbro should be contacted by potential candidates for more details and instructions on how to apply. Please submit your resume along with a short statement outlining your interest in the project. Details about the shortlisted candidates will be provided. Please get in touch with Prof. Phil Hansbro if you want more information.

The Application Deadline is: 01 November 2023

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