Developing a new treatment for inflammatory diseases

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.

Inflammation is a beneficial process of limited duration that protects us from the dangers of infection and injury. However, prolonged inflammation can be damaging to health and can lead to diseases. Most current treatments for a myriad of inflammatory conditions do not halt the cause of disease but rather treat symptoms and usually only for very short periods. This project will investigate a new approach to treatment and protecting against inflammatory diseases by targeting specific inflammatory proteins expressed on the surface of immune cells. It will investigate and characterize the extent to which  new experimental drugs, devised to block interactions with these cell surface receptor proteins, can switch off or reduce inflammation and directly suppress the cause of prolonged inflammation leading to disease. The successful candidate will receive multidisciplinary training in molecular pharmacology involving immune cells, experimental pharmacology through mouse studies for drug evaluation, pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic profiling, histopathology and immunohistochemical assessment of disease modulation, use of state-of-the-art equipment in drug profiling, and collaboration internally and externally with drug designers and developers, medical and clinical researchers. The goal is to understand how newly designed compounds exert their antiinflammatory properties and to profile them for selective effects on the target gene/protein/cell/rodent models of inflammatory disease. Outcomes will include new knowledge of the target protein in disease and greater understanding of drug targeting/efficacy/limitations, mechanism and effectiveness of drug action, and development of new experimental medicines towards the clinic.

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 David Fairlie

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.

A working knowledge of mouse handling, drug administration, pharmacology or immunology is required. The project involves administering experimental drugs and optimized derivatives to mice and profiling of therapeutics effects on pathology, immunology and at the specific molecular target.

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

A background or knowledge of mouse models of inflammatory diseases is highly desirable.

Latest commencement date

If you are the successful candidate, you must commence by Research Quarter 1, 2024. 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