Antibiotic potentiators as an alternative therapeutic option for the treatment of extensively drug-resistant Gram-negative infections

Project opportunity

This Earmarked Scholarship project is aligned with a recently awarded Category 1 research grant. It offers you the opportunity to work with leading researchers and contribute to large projects of national significance.

With a limited supply of new antibiotic options in the pipeline and increased drug resistance in emerging hospital-acquired Gram-negative infections rendering current therapies inadequate, new innovations are required. This project will investigate the potential of novel potentiators to restore the activity of antibiotics that are no longer effective due to resistance. The project will test for the most superior combination of potentiator-antibiotic partnership and investigate their mechanism of action in treating multi- and extensively resistant Gram-negative bacterial infections.

Aim 1: Use high-throughput screening to test for potential combination therapies against a panel of clinically resistance Gram-negative bacteria.

Aim 2: Investigate the mechanism of action of potentiator combinations using microbiology and molecular biology techniques, biophysical assays, microscopy, and use of fluorescent probes.

Aim 3: Investigate the genetic basis of action and bacterial adaptations to the potentiator combinations using serial passage and selective pressure experiments, including the analysis of Whole Genome Sequencing data.

Aim 4: Provide proof of concept in vivo efficacy.

Scholarship value

As a scholarship recipient, you'll receive: 

  • living stipend of $28,854 per annum tax free (2022 rate), indexed annually
  • tuition fees covered
  • single Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)


Dr Alysha Elliott

Institute for Molecular Bioscience


Preferred educational background

Your application will be assessed on a competitive basis.

We take into account your

  • previous academic record
  • publication record
  • honours and awards
  • employment history.

This is a multidisciplinary project, however a working knowledge of microbiology is essential for successful applicant.

The applicant will demonstrate academic achievement in the field(s) of microbiology, molecular biology or biochemistry and the potential for scholastic success.

A background or knowledge of drug discovery, drug resistance and bacterial genetics is highly desirable.

Latest commencement date

If you are the successful candidate, you must commence by Research Quarter 4, 2022. You should apply at least 3 months prior to the research quarter commencement date.

If you are an international applicant, you may need to apply much earlier for visa requirements.

How to apply

You apply for this project as part of your PhD program application.

View application process