The Flavivirus NS1 protein: role in virus replication

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.

The flavivirus genus includes many important human pathogens, dengue (DENV), Japanese encephalitis (JEV), yellow fever (YFV), West Nile (WNV), and Zika (ZIKV). Disease associated with these viruses varies from asymptomatic infection to self-limiting febrile illness, meningitis or microcephaly to encephalitis, haemorrhage, shock and death. Over half the world's population live in endemic areas and are at risk of infection. No antiviral is available for any pathogenic flavivirus. On infection, flaviviruses trigger a massive reorganization of cell membranes with cholesterol recruited into structures required for viral replication. NS1 is critical for this process, although the precise nature of this cofactor function has yet to be elucidated.

This project aims to identify the structural and mechanistic role played by NS1 in the flavivirus replication complex formation. This project will use virological, reverse genetics, cellular, biochemical and advanced imaging approaches to identify (1) how the NS1 protein engages with membranes (including various lipid components) and (2) how these membrane contacts influence NS1's role in viral replication complex formation.

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 David Muller

School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences


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 virology, molecular biology, structural biology and cell biology would be of benefit to someone working on this project.

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

A background or knowledge of flaviviruses, protein expression and super resolution confocal microscopy 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