Job:PhD Scholarship - Bioinformatics to study Squamous Cell Carcinoma, Brisbane Australia
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9.6 years ago
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PhD Scholarship - Bioinformatics to study Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Job no: 496198
Area: UQ Diamantina Institute
Salary (FTE): Research Scholar BAND
Work type: Full Time - Fixed Term, Full Time - Scholarship
Location: Brisbane

The University of Queensland Diamantina Institute was established in 2007 as the sixth research institute of The University of Queensland. The aim of the Institute is to develop a better understanding of the molecular and cellular basis of disease, and to translate that understanding into practical outcomes for patients. Based at the Translational Research Institute (TRI) at the Princess Alexandra Hospital teaching campus in Brisbane, the Institute has almost 270 researchers and students who work closely with clinicians in the areas of cancer, immunology and genomic medicine. UQDI is the largest partner in TRI, and is building major programs in Immunology, Cancer and Genomic Medicine research, with a particular focus on research aimed at development of new treatments. The institute also houses the University of Queensland Centre for Clinical Genomics (UQCCG), the largest next generation sequencing centre in the Southern Hemisphere, and has a specific focus on translational medicine.

The Project

Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is the second most common form of skin cancer. In Australia there were 138,000 new diagnoses of SSC, and 445 reported fatalities from the disease in 2010.

The successful Scholar will pursue a PhD degree in bioinformatics using next generation sequencing data to study the genetic landscape in Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC) and the relationship between UV damaged skin, a pre-cancerous condition called Actinic keratosis (AK), and SCC. The candidate will develop algorithms to perform quality control of sequence data and methods to capture a comprehensive set of mutations in these samples. Methods to control for false positives and coincidental findings will be developed using a resource of 2000 control exomes that have been sequenced at The University of Queensland Centre for Clinical Genomics (UQCCG).

The candidate will then develop statistical methods to search for biomarkers that can be used to identify the transition between tumour states and study the heterogeneity between tumours using SNPs, structural variations and copy number information. The project will be performed in collaboration with the Genomic Medicine and Cancer programs at UQDI. This analysis will require the use of high performance computing and programming in R and Perl.

The Person

The candidate will have a 1st Class Honours degree or equivalent in science. We will consider students from a wide range of backgrounds, including: mathematics, statistics, epidemiology, computer science, bioinformatics, physics, genetics, and molecular biology. Laboratory experience in molecular biology, cell biology and/or genetics is also desirable, although not necessary.

International applicants must meet the University's English language proficiency requirements.


The base stipend will be at the rate of AUD$25,392.00 per annum (2014 rate) tax-free for three years with the possibility of a six month extension in approved circumstances. Top-up salary may be available to suitably qualified candidates.


For further information about the research project, please contact Professor David Evans ( or Dr Paul Leo ( Enquiries can be received at any time. Start dates are throughout the year with the University allowing registrations commencing Jan 1, April 1, July 1 or Oct 1 each year.

For information about applying for a scholarship and for the full terms and conditions, please visit the UQ Graduate School website at

To submit an application for this role, please go to and use the Apply button below. All applicants must supply the following documents: Cover letter, CV/Resume and Academic Records (indicating GPA scores/grades).

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