Understanding how inflammation predisposes to cancer

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.

Chronic inflammation of epithelial organs, such as the gut, are known to predipose to cancer. But the mechanisms responsible for this predisposition are poorly understood. Elucidating such mechanisms will be essential to identify patients at increased risk for cancer and present novel opportunities to decrease cancer risk. This project builds on our pioneering discoveries to test how inflammation may increase cancer risk by altering the epithelium within which cancer originates. We recently made the exciting discovery that abnormalities in the mechanical properties of epithelial tissues may increase cancer risk by disabling the tissue's ability to eliminate newly-transformed cancer cells. Understanding how inflammation affects tissue mechanics will provide new opportunities for diagnosis and therapeutics. This project will provide training in a wide range of modern research approaches, including advanced microscopy, bioengineered systems to study cell behaviour, and animal models of cancer development and elimination.

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 modern techniques of molecular cell biology (protein analysis, gene modification by CRISPR/Cas9, RNAi) and optical microscopy would be of benefit to someone working on this project.

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

A background or knowledge of cancer biology and inflammation 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