PhD Scholarship - Immunology of kidney stone diseases

Sunday, 1 April 2018


The GrowUpWell Priority Research Centre is looking for assistance with understanding the Immunology of kidney stone diseases

This project aims to improve our understanding of how our immune system protects against stone recurrence and its role in preventing long-term consequences such as impaired kidney function.

Specifically, we aim to determine the role of group 2 innate lymphoid cells (ILC2s) in this process.

To do this we will;

  1. Determine the relative proportion of ILC2s in the blood and urine of patients with cystinuria and other kidney stone diseases,
  2. Replicate genetic variants identified in patients with cystinuria using CRISPR-Cas9 technology to generate novel mice that spontaneously develop cystinuria.
  3. Determine the functional role of ILC2s in stone recurrence, restoration of normal urinary tract function and onset of chronic disease,
  4. Establish new clinical guidelines for kidney stone prevention and management. Collectively, this project will provide valuable new insights into how immune cells contribute to stone recurrence and chronic kidney disease and identify strategies to promote optimal immune responses and repair of this vital organ system.

Kidney stones are a common urinary tract problem that disproportionally affects men.

Stones can cause obstructions in the urinary system and are a significant risk factor for development of chronic kidney disease.

Current treatments focus on removal of the stones, often with multiple invasive procedures.

There is a lack in understanding of the reasons why stones reoccur and the reasons why individuals with stones are at increased risk of developing chronic disease.

Therefore, there is a clear need for novel approaches to prevent stone recurrence and their deleterious consequences.

SCHOLARSHIP DETAILS

Scholarship Value: $26,682 p.a. (2017 rate), indexed in January each year. The scholarship is for a period of three years and a half years. This Scholarship is linked to the Dr Starkey ARC DECRA fellowship.

ELIGIBILITY

This scholarship is for domestic and international students.
Seeking an outstanding candidate with:

  • An excellent performance in undergraduate/masters degree relating to biomedical science or medicine with a focus on immunology, molecular biology, urology or nephrology.
  • Excellent English proficiency
  • Experience/ability to work with animal models is required.

APPLICATION PROCEDURE

To enable us to assess your application, candidates will be expected to submit an email expressing their interest including:

  • Academic transcripts
  • A brief statement of research interests.
  • Full CV including previous degrees, grades, research experience, employment, papers published, and any grants obtained

Contact: Dr Malcolm Starkey
Email: malcolm.starkey@newcastle.edu.au
Phone: +61 02 40420204

APPLICATIONS CLOSE 1st April 2018 5pm

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