Inflammation and chronic infections in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease: the role of amyloid cross-seeding

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 is focused on a very challenging therapeutic area – Alzheimer’s disease (AD), the most common cause of dementia. Despite decades of research, no clinical breakthroughs have been made against AD, indicating a deficiency in pathogenesis understanding that is crucial for developing new therapeutic strategies. Particularly, there are knowledge gaps in understanding the structural heterogeneity of amyloid deposits and the pathological implication of amyloid cross-interactions in AD. Many studies have pointed out that inflammatory diseases and chronic infections play an important role in the pathogenesis of AD but the mechanisms are unclear.

This project aims to understand the role of inflammation in the development of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) by studying cross-seeding between amyloid-forming serum amyloid A protein, an acute inflammation biomarker, and amyloid beta (Aβ) peptide, a central molecule in the pathogenesis of AD. In addition, this project will investigate the catalytic role of bacterial and fungal infections in promoting AD by unveiling the seeding capacity of pathogen-originated amyloid fibrils.

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 Aleksandr Kakinen

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 biophysical methods would be of benefit to someone working on this project.

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

A background or knowledge of neurosciences is highly desirable.

Latest commencement date

If you are the successful candidate, you must commence by Research Quarter 1, 2025. 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