The role of mitochondria and lipid droplets in immune defence against pathogens

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 innate immune system provides frontline defence against infection. Knowledge of molecular pathways that control functions of innate immune cells can help guide the development of new approaches to combat infectious diseases. This project will use genetic, cellular, biochemical, immunological, and imaging approaches to understand how mitochondria and lipid droplets within cells enable mammalian immune cells (macrophages) and whole animals (C. elegans) to detect and kill bacterial pathogens. Strategies to boost these pathways as anti-infective strategies may also be explored.

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 Matt Sweet

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 genetic, cellular, molecular and immunological techniques (for example primary cell isolation and culture), gene cloning and manipulation, microscopy, cell-based assays and/or animal models of infection would be of benefit to someone working on this project.

The applicant will demonstrate academic achievement in the field(s) of immunology, cell biology, genetics and/or microbiology and the potential for scholastic success.

A background or knowledge of innate immunity and cell metabolism, as well as research experience in microscopy and/or immunological techniques 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