Early warning mechanisms for epithelial tissue self-protection

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.

This project aims to discover how epithelial tissues in the  body protect themselves against cell injury and cancerous transformation through the early detection and elimination of abnormal cells. Epithelia are found in major organs,  such as the lung, breast and gastrointestinal tract - tissues that are common sources of major diseases, such as inflammation and cancer. The Yap group has pioneered work to understand how mechanical forces are detected as early warnings of cellular dysfunction in epithelia. Conversely, we have found that abnormal tissue mechanics may increase the susceptibility of epithelial tissues to disease. We aim to understand how mechanical signals are detected, how they may be disturbed, and whether correcting mechanics can improve disease outcomes. We work at the interface between experimental biology and theoretical physics. So, projects can be tailored to student's interests, but will give experience in experimental cell biology and physical theory.

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 Alpha Yap

Institute for Molecular Bioscience

Email: a.yap@imb.uq.edu.au

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 cell biology or biophysics; and experimental experience with microscopy and/or experimental animals would be of benefit to someone working on this project.

The applicant will demonstrate academic achievement in the field(s) of cell biology, physiology, developmental biology or physics and the potential for scholastic success.

A background or knowledge of optical microscopy, molecular biology, animal experimentation 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