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Adaptive evolution of anaerobic methanotrophic (ANME) archaea mediating methane oxidation in freshwater environments

The as-yet-uncultured archaeal lineage Methanoperedenaceae are anaerobic methanotrophs with a key role in mitigating the atmospheric release of methane in freshwater environments. The metabolic diversity of these microorganisms directly links methane with several key biochemical cycles and suggests a remarkable ability of these microorganisms to adapt to diverse environmental conditions.The overall aim of this PhD project will be to uncover the metabolic diversity of the Methanoperedenaceae and to understand the evolutionary mechanisms responsible for these adaptations.Methods and ResourcesThe project will …

Study level
PhD
Faculty
Faculty of Health
Lead unit
School of Biomedical Sciences

Identification and functional characterisation of genetic modifiers of iron overload

Iron is an element essential for virtually all life forms; aberrant iron metabolism is linked to many diseases. These include cancers, neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, iron overload and iron deficiency disorders, iron-loading anaemias, and the anaemia associated with chronic disease. Central to proper iron regulation is the appropriate expression and activity of the liver-expressed regulatory peptide, hepcidin, and the iron exporter, ferroportin (FPN). Modulating the expression and activity of hepcidin and FPN, and their interaction is …

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy, Honours
Faculty
Faculty of Health
Lead unit
School of Biomedical Sciences

Illuminating the microbial world using genome-based fluorescence microscopy

Our understanding of microbial diversity on Earth has been fundamentally changed by metagenomic characterisation of natural ecosystems. Traditional approaches for visualising microbial communities are time-consuming and provide limited information about the identity of specific microorganisms.The proposed research aims to combine single cell genomics and super resolution microscopy for novel, high-throughput, genome-based techniques to visualise microorganisms, plasmids and viruses, with strain level specificity. The application of these highly scalable approaches will provide comprehensive and unprecedented insight into the fine-scale dynamics and …

Study level
PhD
Faculty
Faculty of Health
Lead unit
School of Biomedical Sciences

Developing in vitro 3D models to understand liver disease

Several studies have demonstrated the appropriateness of 3D organoid cultures over the conventional 2D cultures, the advantages of 3D models include replicating the complex attributes of the liver beyond liver-specific metabolism, such as increased cell density, organization, and cell–cell signalling, O2 zonation.In this project we will establish a novel in vitro 3D model to study hepatocyte biology in the context of liver disease. A more comprehensive approach to investigating the intercellular mechanisms of NAFLD will include co-culture of organoids with …

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy, Honours
Faculty
Faculty of Health
Lead unit
School of Biomedical Sciences

Detection of anti-Chlamydia antibodies in serum as a marker of testicular infection

Chlamydia trachomatis is an obligate intracellular, bacterial pathogen. C. trachomatis infections of the human reproductive tract affect approximately 127 million people globally each year. The major concern of C. trachomatis infections is their ability to cause infertility in both men and women, by damaging the upper reproductive tracts. Historically, Chlamydia has been considered more of a problem for women, but our recent research has shown the testes of men can be infected and this may contribute to idiopathic male infertility. …

Study level
Master of Philosophy, Honours
Faculty
Faculty of Health
Lead unit
School of Biomedical Sciences

Testing of novel antibiotic-loaded nanoparticles for treatment of Chlamydia infection

C. trachomatis, sexually transmitted infections of both the female and male human reproductive tract, affects approximately 127 million people globally each year. The major concerning sequela of C. trachomatis infection is infertility in both men and women. This occurs by damaging the upper reproductive tracts, the ovaries and testes most importantly.The majority of research has been focussed on female disease, and male disease has been underestimated and understudied, particularly therapeutics for male infections. Antibiotic therapy is the only therapy currently …

Study level
Master of Philosophy, Honours
Faculty
Faculty of Health
Lead unit
School of Biomedical Sciences

Characterisation of grass pollen allergen extracts for diagnosis and therapy of patients with allergic rhinitis and asthma

Grass pollen allergens are the major outdoor allergen trigger for allergic asthma and rhinitis (hayfever) that affect up to 20% of Australians as well as 500 million people globally. Our research shows that patients with grass pollen allergy from subtropical regions show sensitisation and specific IgE and T cell recognition of allergens from subtropical grass pollens. Whilst allergen specific immunotherapy vaccine treatments are effective at reducing symptoms of hayfever and reduce progression to asthma, some skin prick test and allergen …

Study level
Master of Philosophy, Honours
Faculty
Faculty of Health
Lead unit
School of Biomedical Sciences

Targeting leptin's signalling axis to prevent treatment resistance in prostate cancer

Advanced prostate cancer (PCa) is a leading cause of cancer-associated death in Australian men. Anti-androgens, which exploit the tumour’s reliance on androgens for its growth & spread, offer temporary remission in advanced PCa patients, but due to treatment resistance, fail to be curative. A further complication of anti-androgens is that they trigger a deleterious suite of metabolic side-effects resembling obesity/Metabolic syndrome. These symptoms not only impact patient health but promote tumours to be more aggressive & resist treatment. Vital new …

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy, Honours
Faculty
Faculty of Health
Lead unit
School of Biomedical Sciences

Infection kinetic changes that occur within macrophage-adapted Chlamydia

Chlamydia trachomatis is an obligate intracellular, bacterial pathogen. C. trachomatis infections of the human reproductive tract affect approximately 127 million people globally each year. The major concern of C. trachomatis infections is their ability to cause infertility in both men and women, by damaging the upper reproductive tracts. However, we are still lacking information about how Chlamydia travels around the reproductive tract, and reaches the upper tract (ovaries and testes in particular) to cause this damage.Recent research has shown that …

Study level
Master of Philosophy, Honours
Faculty
Faculty of Health
Lead unit
School of Biomedical Sciences

Impact of organoid culture on molecular characteristics and immune cell signal of bladder cancer (BIOM04)

Project code:BIOM04Area of research:CancerProject aims and objectives:Bladder cancer (BlCa) is the 9th most common cancer in Queensland, with an estimated 53% five-year survival rate in Australians. Treatment options for superficial, locally advanced and metastatic BlCa include platinum-based chemotherapy and intravesical immunotherapy in the form of a bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine - a weakened, live bacterium that stimulates the immune response. As a result of developed resistance or progressive growth, BlCa tumour recurrence is a common clinical outcome. Thus, there is …

Study level
Vacation research experience scheme
Faculty
Faculty of Health
Lead unit
School of Biomedical Sciences

Using a natural β-carboline dimer compound to target metabolic vulnerabilities linked to glycolysis in prostate cancer

Project code:BIOM08Area of research:CancerProject aims and objectives:Our research is focussed on understanding the mechanisms that lead to therapy failure in prostate cancer and how these can be targeted to prevent cancer deaths. One way prostate cancers become resistant is by reprogramming their metabolism to overcome metabolic stress induced by treatment. We aim to identify drugs that can target metabolic networks that are unique to cancer cells.Previous work in our lab has identified a compound, BD, isolated from a sea squirt …

Study level
Vacation research experience scheme
Faculty
Faculty of Health
Lead unit
School of Biomedical Sciences

Human neural stem cell models

Project code: BIOM11 Area of research: Molecular medicine Project aims and objectives: This project uses multiple human stem cell models along with cell culture and molecular biology techniques such as Q-PCR, Western Blot analysis and microscopy to examine the role of proteoglycans in lineage commitment and dysregulation. If we can understand and control lineage fate i.e. the formation of new neurons and astrocytes, we can understand how damage occurs and examine ways to treat and manage repair. This may include …

Study level
Vacation research experience scheme
Faculty
Faculty of Health
Lead unit
School of Biomedical Sciences

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