AITHM James Cook University

03 September 2019

PhD scholarship

Molecular Immunology of Malaria

The Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine (AITHM) at James Cook University (Cairns) is a cross-disciplinary research institute spanning a range of research areas related to tropical health and medicine, including immunology, molecular biology, analytical chemistry, systems biology and bioinformatics. The scope of research encompasses basic science through to clinical translation and impact.

An opportunity exists for a PhD position in malaria vaccine development – specifically, rational vaccine development from genomic sequence information. Vaccines are one of the most effective health care interventions. Malaria is a priority target but conventional approaches to vaccine development have failed. We have been exploring novel  approaches, taking advantage of recent advances in genomic sequencing, proteomics, transcriptional profiling, and molecular immunology, and have generated unique datasets of promising T cell and antibody targets. The focus of this project will be to further characterize these antigens as vaccine candidates by assessing immunogenicity, protective capacity and biological function. This project is expected to result in significance advances in vaccinology as well as immunology, with important public health outcomes.

Applications close on 30 September 2019 - but get in contact ASAP to discuss opportunities.

For more information on scholarship details and application process see:

Subject areas:
Immunology, Vaccinology, Molecular immunology, Malaria, Vaccine Plaforms

Entry: Bachelor degree with Honours Class I (or equivalent via outstanding record of professional or research achievements)
Experience/Background: laboratory-based experience in immunology, host-pathogen interactions, immune regulation and infectious diseases; excellent computer, communication, and organisational skills are required.


Professor Denise Doolan – Professorial Research Fellow (Molecular Immunology), AITHM Deputy Director; Director of JCU Centre for Molecular Therapeutics

Dr David Pattinson – Research Fellow (Molecular Vaccinology)

Contact details:

Professor Denise Doolan:; (61-7) 4232 1492

Dr David Pattinson:; (61-7) 4232 1157

The award of an AITHM scholarship is conditional upon:
1. successful enrolment as a James Cook University PhD candidate. Applicants can familiarise themselves with entry requirements at:;
2. application for alternative scholarship funding, including the JCU Postgraduate Research Scholarship, in each year of candidature. Should such an application be successful and that scholarship is of lesser value to the AITHM Scholarship, the scholarship holder will receive the balance of the AITHM Scholarship.

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