The University of Newcastle, Australia

Antimicrobial Drug Resistance in Gram-negative Bacterial Pathogens

Closing Date: 29 May 2020Apply Now

PhD Scholarship

The current global COVID-19 pandemic has thrust infectious disease into the limelight as a major force of social and economic disruption. Alongside this current and urgent threat, sits a larger more deadly and potentially more economically damaging issue in infectious disease - the emergence of antibiotic resistant bacterial “superbugs”. This PhD project will aim to investigate the mechanisms used by the most problematic superbugs to overcome antibiotic killing and develop strategies to overcome resistance

Lab Assistant Analysing

Antibiotics are “miracle drugs”. Since their development we have been using them to treat bacterial infections that would otherwise have been fatal, or very uncomfortable for the host. Today they underpin effectively all practices in modern medicine, allowing invasive surgeries that expose patients to heightened risks of bacterial infection, and treatments such as cancer chemotherapy that weaken immune defences to infection.

However, our widespread use of antibiotics in medicine and agriculture has provided selective pressure for bacterial strains to become resistant. There are now pathogenic bacteria that are resistant to all currently available classes of antibiotics and with very weak private investment in new antibiotic development we are facing an antibiotic resistance crisis that could take millions of lives each year and cost global economies trillions of dollars.

This PhD project will use cutting-edge techniques in microbial functional genomics and biochemistry to investigate the mechanisms that Gram-negative bacterial pathogens use to overcome the inhibitory effects of antibiotics. This group of bacteria have high intrinsic resistance exogenous compounds and are particularly problematic targets for new drug development.

The results of this project will inform the development of new antibiotics and antibiotic potentiators that can be used in combination with existing drugs, and help to direct the rational use of current antibiotics in a more efficient way.

PhD Scholarship details

Funding: $28,092 per annum (2020 rate) indexed annually. For a PhD candidate, the living allowance scholarship is for 3.5 years and the tuition fee scholarship is for four years. Scholarships also include up to $1,500 relocation allowance, if applicable.

Supervisor: Karl Hassan

Available to: Domestic students


Eligibility Criteria

This project will suit applicants who have strong interests in microbiology and infectious diseases with some laboratory and/or bioinformatic experience. The candidate must be able to operate within a cohesive and motivated research team. The successful applicant must begin their candidature before 31 August 2020.

Application Procedure

Interested applicants should send an email expressing their interest along with scanned copies of their academic transcripts, CV, a brief statement of their research interests and a proposal that specifically links them to the research project.

Please send the email expressing interest to by 5pm on 29 May 2020.

Applications Close 29 May 2020 Apply Now

Contact Karl Hassan
Phone (02) 49217236

PhD and Research MastersFind out more