Study level


Master of Philosophy



Topic status

We're looking for students to study this topic.


Dr Gautam Rishi
Visiting Associate
Division / Faculty
Faculty of Health
Professor Nathan Subramaniam
Professor in Biomedical Sciences (Molecular Medicine)
Division / Faculty
Faculty of Health


Liver disease is a significant burden on society, accounting for more than 2 million deaths worldwide. miRNAs can exert causal roles, being pro- or anti-inflammatory, as well as pro- or antifibrotic mediators or being oncogenes as well as tumour suppressor genes. In this project we will identify novel miRNAs which play a role in the progression and development of liver disease and delineate the mechanisms utilised by these miRNAs using cell and mouse models of disease.

Aim 1: To identify differentially expressed miRNAs in the liver and serum of mouse models of liver disease.

Aim 2: To examine the expression of differentially expressed miRNAs in liver at different stages of liver disease.

Aim 3: To delineate the functions of novel miRNAs using cell and mice models of liver disease.

In Aim 1 miRNA sequencing will be performed on liver and serum samples from mouse models of disease available in the laboratory. The student will then perform bioinformatic analyses on the data generated from this experiment. These miRNA changes will then be validated in mice in Aim 2 at different stages of liver disease to examine the role of these miRNAs in liver disease progression. In Aim 3 we will identify the mechanistic functions of these miRNAs in cell and mouse models using classical and new cell and molecular biology techniques.

Approaches/Skills and techniques

  • miRNA
  • Next generation sequencing
  • RNA seq
  • Bioinformatics
  • Western blotting
  • qRT-PCR


Identification of miRNA which can be used to treat and diagnose liver disease. The next stage will be analysis in pre-clinical studies and if successful clinical studies.

Required skills and experience

Candidate interested in learning and utilizing a range of molecular, cellular approaches and animal models of disease to understanding liver pathobiology.



Contact the supervisors, Dr Gautam Rishi and Professor Nathan Subramaniam for more information.