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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

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

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

The effect of genetic predisposition to traits on recruitment bias

Project code:QIMR01Area of Research:CancerProject aims and objectives:Population based research projects only recruit those willing to take part in a study, therefore potentially introducing a recruitment bias. As part of the PISA study (Prospective Imaging Study of Aging: Genes, Brain, and Behaviour) we are leveraging our extensive in-house cohorts drawn from genetic studies of approximately 16,000 individuals. All participants have been invited to complete an online survey on cognition and behaviour, lifestyle and family history. The fact that we already have …

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

Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) T cells for the treatment of cancer

Project code:QIMR02Area of Research:CancerProject aims and objectives:Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) T cells are genetically modified immune cells that can recognise and kill cancer cells. They are a type of cancer immunotherapy that can be very effective against certain types of blood cancers and are now approved for use in patients. However, CAR T cells can only benefit a very small proportion of cancer patients at present. The aim of this project is to develop new types of CAR T cells …

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

Student in Transplantation Immunology

Project code:QIMR03Area of Research:CancerProject aims and objectives:Allogeneic stem cell transplantation (alloSCT) is considered the gold standard procedure for the treatment of blood cancers. Globally, over 9000 patients per year undergo this high-risk, life-saving therapy. However, major complications limit the therapeutic potential of this treatment which include graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) and infections due to the severe immunosuppression in these patients. Respiratory syncytial viral (RSV) infection is frequent in these patients, is often fatal and clearly a significant clinical problem. Thus, there …

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

A biofabrication surgical referral suite to predict intracranial aneurysm rupture

Intracranial aneurysms are bulging, weak areas of an artery that supply blood to the brain which are relatively common. While most aneurysms do not show symptoms, 1% spontaneously rupture which can be fatal or leave the survivor with permanent disabilities. This catastrophic outcome has motivated surgeons to operate on approximately 30% of aneurysms despite their rate of complications arising and cost of operation.The impact of aneurysm morphology on blood flow shear stress and rupture could educate surgical decision-making and better …

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy, Honours, Vacation research experience scheme
Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty
Lead unit
School of Mechanical, Medical and Process Engineering

Spatial localization of immunoglobulin A in the gastrointestinal tract

Project code:QIMR05Area of Research:CancerProject aims and objectives:Blood cancers, which include leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma account for 10% of all cancers and 9.4% of cancer deaths. Stem cell transplantation (SCT) is the predominant curative therapy for these diseases. However, a major complication is graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) in which the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, skin, lung and liver are preferentially damaged by the transplanted donor immune system, limiting the therapeutic potential of this treatment. Thus, there is a pressing need for new treatment …

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

Microsatellite Instability as a determinant of chemotherapy sensitivity

Project code:QIMR07Area of Research:CancerProject aims and objectives:Colorectal cancer is a major cause of mortality in Australia. Late stage colorectal cancers usually treated with a battery of cytotoxic chemotherapeutics, including a drug called TAS-102. The efficacy of chemotherapy varies dramatically between patients due to reasons that are not entirely clear. We have evidence that microsatellite instability may influence how patients respond to TAS-102, and in this project, we will combine genome engineering using the CRISPR-Cas9 system with traditional cell culture techniques …

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

Spatial profiling of the tumour microenvironment

Lung cancers are the leading cause of cancer related deaths in Australia, with a 5-year survival of 15%. With the emerging success of immune checkpoint blockage leading to durable responses and prolonged survival in 15-40% of cases, there is now a need for predictive biomarkers to guide selection for immunotherapies.The immune contexture of the tumour microenvironment (TME) is an important factor in dictating how well a tumour may respond to immune checkpoint therapies (1). Spatial and immunological composition with cellular …

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

Identifying biomarkers in children for predicting burn wound healing, to optimise wound care (BIOM02)

Project code:BIOM02Project aim:To identify protein biomarkers which are associated with poor wound healing outcomes in patients (e.g. needing a skin graft, scarring, delayed healing).Project methodology and resources:Blister fluid samples collected from patients are processed and analysed using mass spectrometry-based proteomic approaches. Proteins within the sample are identified and their abundance level characterised. The presence and amount of proteins within the sample are related to patient clinical parameters, using bioinformatic techniques. Students will gain an understanding of all these processes and …

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

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