To date, stem cell transplantation (SCT) remains the preferred treatment option for the majority of blood cancers. Chemotherapy/radiation during conditioning (in preparation for the SCT) damages intestinal epithelium resulting in systemic exposure to microbial products normally sequestered in the intestinal lumen, in addition to a marked cytokine release. We have demonstrated that these microbial products… READ MORE
Understanding the immunological mechanisms that modulate increased mortality after stem cell transplantation complicated by a respiratory syncytial viral infection
Viral infection following stem cell transplantation (SCT) is a common complication following this procedure which is performed for the treatment of blood cancers. One such pathogen is respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), a common community-acquired infection that leads to significant morbidity in immunocompromised patients such as recipients of a SCT. Current treatment strategies using anti-viral agents… READ MORE
Suitable for PhD students The implementation of any mosquito control strategy, whether it involves: 1) insecticides, 2) Wolbachia-mediated strategies for the replacement and suppression of wild-type populations, or 3) the release of GM mosquitoes, can all be optimised using information gleaned from the genetic characterisation of population structure, movement and adaptive traits. Tracking the dynamic… READ MORE
Nanotechnology has found many applications in medicine, particularly for drug delivery and imaging. However, in recent years, nano-approaches have also been developed for bio-detoxification. Materials known as nanosponges can be designed to capture toxic compounds and reduce their concentrations in the body. In particular, they have been found to absorb a range of toxins derived… READ MORE
What determines gut health? A study of lifestyle and dietary interventions on the composition and function of the gut microbiome
This project is suitable of a PhD candidate, possessing a Masters or class 1 honours degree with laboratory experience. It will contain lab work and patient recruitment in a real world clinical setting. Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is an umbrella term referring to chronic relapsing diseases of the gastrointestinal tract such as ulcerative colitis (UC)… READ MORE
This project will use population-level linked data (cancer registry, national death index, pharmaceutical benefits scheme) to analyse associations between prescription of commonly used medications such as beta-blockers or statins and pancreatic cancer incidence and survival. The project is suitable for Honours, Masters, or PhD level students with significant data analysis experience and some knowledge of… READ MORE
The D-Health Trial is a large (N=~21,000) randomised placebo-controlled trial that aims to determine whether population-level supplementation with vitamin D influences mortality, cancer, cardiovascular disease and a wide range of other outcomes. Projects are available for Honours, Masters, or PhD level students with an interest in public health, nutrition, or statistical analysis. Students must have… READ MORE
Characterization of the effects of cGVHD on microglial function and the impact on neurogenesis and cognitive function.
Supervisors: Kelli MacDonald (QIMR); Jana Vukovic (UQ) Project level: PhD or Honours Globally, haematological malignancies represent the fifth most commonly occurring cancers and the second leading cause of cancer death. Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (SCT) is the most effective curative therapy, and the therapy of choice, for the majority of these cancers of bone marrow… READ MORE
Is part of susceptibility to breast cancer the inability of the immune system to recognise and eliminate early tumours?
Suitable for PhD students only. Our genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified 179 breast cancer risk loci. The functional mechanism behind the associations usually involves perturbed regulation of target gene transcription by risk-associated single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) lying in regulatory elements positioned some distance from the target. We have developed a scoring system (integrated expression… READ MORE
This project involves the use of gene editing of primary mouse and human bone marrow cells and monitoring disease phenotypes. We will use Cas9 editing on adult stem cell populations derived from bone marrow to introduce oncogenic mutations that are found from patients with leukaemia. These cells can be propagated in vitro or in vivo… READ MORE
Determine the composition of AIP-2-shaped breastmilk and define the microbiome, metabolome and immune landscape of AIP-2-nursed pups
This project is suitable for a PhD student Project description: Research on human BM has shown that bioactive factors influencing the infant immune system are primarily composed of proteins, essential fatty acids and micronutrients. Furthermore, it was recently reported that 30% of the infant gut microbiome originates from mother’s BM, suggesting that AIP-2 likely influences… READ MORE