Developing a nanoparticle-based Oral Cancer Vaccine

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.

Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the most common and lethal tumours worldwide. Current therapies are often unsuccessful because CRC frequently recurs with metastasis after treatment cessation. Vaccines offer great promise in preventing post-treatment recurrence, with clinical trials in progress. However, the efficacy of current (injected) vaccines remains limited due to a lack of T cell migration and gut tissue-resident memory T cells (TRM) generation, which are crucial to combat CRC tumours which grow at gut mucosa. Oral immunisation outperforms injected immunisation (e.g. intramuscular) in generating gut TRM. While adjuvants are crucial for vaccine efficacy, currently licensed vaccine adjuvants (e.g. Alum) cannot trigger sufficient T cell immunity and are not optimal for oral delivery.

This project aims to address the urgent need for a CRC vaccine by developing a novel oral nanoadjuvant that effectively elicits gut TRM responses. This will be achieved by integrating our patented bioadhesive spiky nanoparticles and immune modulator strategies. Developed nanovaccine has the potential to provide gut-localised antigen delivery and a pro-inflammatory microenvironment to promote rapid and long-lived anti-tumour TRM immunity for CRC prevention.

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)


Dr Jie Tang

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 nanomaterials, drug delivery, cancer therapy, and animal handling would be of benefit to someone working on this project.

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

A background or knowledge of nanotechnology and immunology is highly desirable.

Latest commencement date

If you are the successful candidate, you must commence by Research Quarter 1, 2026. 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