Skip to menu Skip to content Skip to footer

You're viewing this site as a domestic an international student

You're a domestic student if you are:

  • a citizen of Australia or New Zealand,
  • an Australian permanent resident, or
  • a holder of an Australian permanent humanitarian visa.

You're an international student if you are:

  • intending to study on a student visa,
  • not a citizen of Australia or New Zealand,
  • not an Australian permanent resident, or
  • a temporary resident (visa status) of Australia.
You're viewing this site as a domestic an international student

Developing a new treatment for inflammatory diseases

This project is closed for international students.

Project summary

St Lucia
Research area
Biological sciences, Biomedical and clinical sciences

Project description

Inflammation is a beneficial process of limited duration that protects us from the dangers of infection and injury. However, prolonged inflammation can be damaging to health and can lead to diseases. Most current treatments for a myriad of inflammatory conditions do not halt the cause of disease, but rather treat symptoms and usually only for very short periods.

This project will investigate a new approach to treatment and protection against inflammatory diseases by targeting specific inflammatory proteins expressed on the surface of immune cells.

It will investigate and characterise the extent to which new experimental drugs, devised to block interactions with these cell surface receptor proteins, can switch off or reduce inflammation and directly suppress the cause of prolonged inflammation leading to disease.

The goal is to understand how newly designed compounds exert their anti-inflammatory properties and to profile them for selective effects on the target gene/protein/cell/rodent models of inflammatory disease.

Outcomes will include new knowledge of the target protein in disease and a greater understanding of drug targeting/efficacy/limitations, mechanism and effectiveness of drug action, and development of new experimental medicines towards the clinic.

The role

The successful candidate will receive multidisciplinary training in the following:

  • molecular pharmacology involving immune cells
  • experimental pharmacology through mouse studies for drug evaluation
  • pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic profiling
  • histopathology and immunohistochemical assessment of disease modulation
  • use of state-of-the-art equipment in drug profiling.

The PhD candidate will also collaborate internally and externally with drug designers and developers, medical and clinical researchers.


This is an Earmarked scholarship project that aligns with a recently awarded Australian Government grant.

The scholarship includes:

  • living stipend of $32,192 per annum tax free (2023 rate), indexed annually
  • your tuition fees covered
  • single overseas student health cover (OSHC).

Learn more about the Earmarked scholarship.


Preferred educational background

You'll be judged on a competitive basis taking into account your:

  • academic record
  • publication record
  • honours and awards
  • employment history.

A working knowledge of mouse handling, drug administration, pharmacology or immunology is required. The project involves administering experimental drugs and optimised derivatives to mice and profiling of therapeutics' effects on pathology, immunology and at the specific molecular target.

You'll demonstrate academic achievement in the field(s) of pharmacology or immunology and the potential for scholastic success.

A background or knowledge of mouse models of inflammatory diseases is highly desirable.

How to apply

This project requires candidates to commence no later than Research Quarter 1, 2024. To allow time for your application to be processed, we recommend applying no later than 30 September, 2023 30 June, 2023.

You can start in an earlier research quarter. See application dates.

Before you apply

  1. Check your eligibility for the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD).
  2. Prepare your documentation.
  3. Contact Professor David Fairlie ( to discuss your interest and suitability.

When you apply

You apply for this scholarship when you submit an application for a PhD. You don’t need to submit a separate scholarship application.

In your application ensure that under the ‘Scholarships and collaborative study’ section you select:

  • My higher degree is not collaborative
  • I am applying for, or have been awarded a scholarship or sponsorship
  • UQ Earmarked Scholarship type.

Apply now