Tuning the activating stimulus of voltage-gated sodium channels

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 will investigate how voltage-gated sodium channels, which are proteins (ion channels) found on the surface of neurons (brain cells and nerves) function as molecular conduits of cell-to-cell electrical communication. The overall aim is to study how molecular probes (venom peptides) and structural parts of these ion channels affect the local biophysical environment of the ion channels, and how this leads to fine tuning of the ion channel's sensitivity to the stimulus that activates them (cell membrane voltage).

This project will use natural and modified peptides that are derived from venoms of different species, such as spiders and ants to probe and manipulate the functional properties of an ion channel that is critically important to the function of the nervous system.

The conceptual knowledge gained from this project would advance our understanding of a fundamental physiological process and facilitate the development of drugs that regulate ion channel function, such as antiepileptics, analgesics and insecticides.

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 Angelo Keramidas

Institute for Molecular Bioscience

Email: a.keramidas@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 patch-clamp electrophysiology and ion channel pharmacology would be of benefit to someone working on this project.

The applicant will demonstrate academic achievement in the field(s) of neuroscience, ion channel research and the potential for scholastic success.

A background or knowledge of molecular biology 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