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PhD Scholarships – Mesothelioma Research

The Asbestos Diseases Research Institute (ADRI) is located on the Concord Hospital campus under the leadership of Professor Ken Takahashi – is the world’s first stand-alone research facility dedicated to the prevention and treatment of asbestos-related diseases, particularly malignant mesothelioma. Australia has the highest incidence of mesothelioma in the world with around 700 new cases diagnosed each year. Diagnosis and treatment of mesothelioma remains difficult, and new biomarkers and treatments are needed.

The ADRI is currently seeking dedicated and enthusiastic molecular or cell biology students to pursue PhD studies in mesothelioma research. The successful candidates will undertake research to identify biomarkers to improve treatment of mesothelioma and to investigate novel therapeutic approaches. The following projects involve gene expression analysis of microRNAs, other non-coding RNAs and proteins in laboratory and clinical samples, and testing experimental drugs and combinations in mesothelioma cell lines.

  • Investigating microRNA expression in mesothelioma to identify new molecular targets
  • New molecular biomarkers for mesothelioma to improve prognosis and predict response to treatment
  • Long noncoding RNA expression in mesothelioma: biomarkers and biological roles

The successful candidates will hold a BSc(Hons) class I/IIa or equivalent, and experience in standard molecular techniques (including RT-qPCR) and cell culture is essential. Specific experience in gene expression profiling and drug screening is desirable. Good communication skills and a proven ability to work as part of a team are also required.

If you have an interest in translational research this is a rare opportunity to work within an emerging well-equipped Institute in a highly relevant research area. You will have the opportunity to work alongside experienced researchers and to collaborate on various applied research projects, which aim to provide better outcomes for Australians suffering from asbestos-related disease.

These positions are within the framework of a Cancer Institute NSW program grant recently awarded to ADRI researchers Prof Nico van Zandwijk and Dr Glen Reid. Successful candidates will be expected to enrol in postgraduate studies at a tertiary institution. For further information, contact Kim Mattock ( For an informal discussion about the project, contact Dr Glen Reid (

Remuneration package: A tax-free scholarship of $30k p.a. is available for 3 years.

Applications close: 4 weeks from advertising


To be considered for the role, all applicants must respond to the selection criteria.

Selection criteria:

BSc (Hons) in molecular biology or related discipline

Experience in basic nucleic acid methodology, RNA purification and RT-qPCR

Experience in mammalian cell culture

Excellent communication & analytical skills

Demonstrated ability to work alone and as part of a team

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