Construction of nano-bioengineered chip for tuneable selection of binders from protein libraries

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.

All monoclonal antibody drugs represent about 70% of the total sales for all biopharmaceutical products (about $230 billion) and 35% of mAbs are derived from phage display. The development of such biologics is inherently complex and cumbersome.

Funded by ARC Discovery Projects, this project aims to develop a novel biopanning platform technology for the rapid selection of high-value target binding molecules from diverse protein/peptide display libraries using an electrically activated nanofluidic chip coated with the target. The project will use the concepts of nanotechnology, biologics, and physical chemistry, namely ac-electrohydrodynamic (EHD) nanoscopic forces to drive the selection of target binding molecules during biopanning.

The outcomes of this proposed project are expected to significantly impact drug discovery and diagnostics development and research by providing a generic tool for antibody discovery through a modernized biopanning process.

It provides an excellent opportunity for the PhD candidate to work on the exciting interdisciplinary science, and get trained in state-of-the-art technologies using advanced techniques including nanofabrication of chips, display library preparation, molecular evolution, nanopore sequencing, protein expression and purification, automated binding kinetics and X-ray crystallography.

Honours/Masters students with a background in chemistry, materials science, biochemistry, molecular biology, or related fields are more than welcome to contact the Principal Investigator, Prof. Matt Trau.

Scholarship value

As a scholarship recipient, you'll receive: 

  • living stipend of $32,192 per annum tax free (2023 rate), indexed annually
  • tuition fees covered
  • single Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)


Professor Matt Trau

Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology


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.

A working knowledge of molecular biology and protein expression and purification would be of benefit to someone working on this project.

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

A background or knowledge of protein library display and bioconjugation is highly desirable.

Latest commencement date

If you are the successful candidate, you must commence by Research Quarter 1, 2023. 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