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3-Year PhD Scholarship to engineer protein-based nanoparticles for the treatment of neurodegenerativ


With an ageing population, neurodegenerative disorders (e.g. Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases) are having an increasing impact on our society and healthcare system. Unfortunately, the efficacy of new drugs (e.g. small-molecule drugs, vaccines, and biologics) designed to treat these disorders often suffer from restricted entry to the brain via the blood brain barrier (BBB), poor target selectivity, low biostability and bioavailability, and even toxicity.

Nanoparticle (NP) drug delivery systems allow the encapsulation, protection and targeted release of drugs. Furthermore, several NP formulations have been shown to cross the BBB, demonstrating their potential for targeted delivery of drugs to damaged regions within the brain. The aim of this project is develop unique protein-based NPs (PNPs) for the targeted delivery and controlled release of drugs within the brain for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. The design, construction, viability and effectiveness of the modified PNPs as drug delivery vehicles, will be evaluated using in silico (e.g. protein modelling), in vitro (e.g. drug loading and dissolution testing), and in vivo models (e.g. brain targeting, therapeutic efficacy and toxicity).


The successful student will join a dynamic and motivated team with a multidisciplinary approach to research.

The ideal candidate must have a background in biomedical science, synthetic biology, and/or neurobiology. Practical expertise in molecular cloning, protein production and purification, and tissue culture is essential. While experience with cellular assays, animal models of neurobiology, flow cytometry, microscopy, and data analysis is desirable. In addition, they will have a demonstrated aptitude for undertaking laboratory work, an understanding of the field, and excellent communication skills.

Please apply ONLY if you have:

  • Completed a 2-years Master of Research with a major research component and examined Thesis

  • Excellent academic records

  • Evidence of peer-reviewed research activity, such as publications and/or conference presentations

  • Proof of English Proficiency either through an academic IELTS or a TOEFL test. Please see here the required levels of English proficiency.

Please refer to the University HDR Entry Criteria for more eligibility information.

Send your detailed CV for assessment to: A/Prof Anwar Sunna (


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