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Opportunities for Research Students

Opportunities for Research Students

We offer a CMRI Research Award for successful PhD applicants.

See below for information on our programs for Undergraduate Summer, Honours, and PhD students.

If you are a high school or university student interested in learning more about STEM careers, download our booklet here.

Explore Our Programs

Summer Scholarships for Undergraduate Science or Medical Science Students

CMRI is offering several summer scholarships for first-year or higher students. Duration is a minimum of 8 to 12 weeks between mid-November and February. Students can enroll anytime during this period provided they can commit to 8 weeks of work in the lab.

Applications are to be submitted using this form. The deadline is October 1st, 2022.

For more information and project descriptions, please contact the CMRI undergraduate Student Coordinator: Dr Alexander Sobinoff ([email protected]).

We welcome students from any Australian university with a science-related degree to carry out their Honours research at CMRI. The Applied Medical Science Honours Program is run through the University of Sydney and offers a broad scope of projects relevant to Australia’s largest health and biomedical research precinct at Westmead.

CMRI Honours student coordinator: Dr Mark Graham ([email protected])

Before considering undertaking a PhD at CMRI, please review our research teams section here.

If you are interested in a particular area of research for your PhD, make contact with the team leader via email. You may be asked to provide further details and meet with them.

If a CMRI team leader is interested in taking you on as a student, then you will be asked to apply for a CMRI research award and any other relevant scholarships.

CMRI offers a competitive PhD Research Award, providing a top-up on other PhD scholarships. Applications are open all year; more details about the application process can be found on the CMRI Research Awards page.

For further information, contact the CMRI Postgraduate student coordinator: Prof. Tracy Bryan ([email protected])

View PhD and Masters database at the University of Sydney (filtered for CMRI) here.

View the Honours database at the University of Sydney (filtered for Westmead) here.

The below scholarships are for $40,000 per year for up to 3.5 years and are managed through The University of Sydney FMH. Applicants will need to apply directly with the University of Sydney via the links below, by 30th September.

Contact Dr Samantha Ginn here at CMRI for more information: [email protected]

Development of a universal gene therapy approach using CRISPR-based genome editing technology to treat paediatric liver disease.

This PhD project aims to develop a universal genome editing platform technology that can be easily adapted to treat urea-cycle disorders and liver disease more broadly. This approach has the advantage of correcting all mutations within the target gene regardless of their type and could, therefore, treat all patients with the same gene therapy vector, ensuring the greatest clinical applicability. In addition, the reagents generated in this project will be configured with the end-in-mind and will be directly translatable without further modification. The project will also identify novel, highly human liver-specific, vectors with the potential to generate intellectual property and commercial interest. Studies will be performed in patient-specific primary human hepatocytes in vivo, the most relevant pre-clinical model for human translation.

  • See more information here.

Extending the therapeutic reach and biosafety of AAV-mediated gene transfer vectors to treat human metabolic liver disease: In vivo reactivation of the ornithine transcarbamylase locus in patient cells with skewed X-chromosome inactivation.

The project’s primary objective, developing novel AAV-derived vectors with extended clinical reach for human liver disorders, will be translationally focussed on treating a frontier liver indication. Whilst exciting, treatment of haemophilias by AAV-mediated gene therapy succeeded because gene transfer to a modest proportion of hepatocytes confers therapeutic benefit. The gene transfer efficiency required to treat cell-autonomous indications is far higher, and rAAV technology is presently constrained by the low liver transduction efficiency of clinically deployed capsids. Ornithine transcarbamylase (OTC) deficiency is one such condition that demands the highest-efficiency liver-targeting technology for a clinically corrective intervention. Accordingly, we aim to employ our novel vectors to deliver locus-specific epigenetic engineering payloads to reactivate the wildtype OTC allele in hepatocytes.

  • See more information here.

If you have any queries about the below scholarships, please contact Prof Leszek Lisowski [email protected]

Development, optimisation and manufacturing of novel bespoke technologies for AAV-based gene therapies for neurological disorders

This PhD project aims to develop safe, practical, and affordable gene therapy treatment options focused on patients suffering from debilitating neurological conditions, such as motor neuron disease. Furthermore, this project seeks to improve the manufacturing process of the bioengineered vehicles of gene therapy (termed 'vectors') through the development of novel bespoke manufacturing technologies. The vectors used in this project will be recombinant adeno-associated virus (rAAV), the current vector of choice for gene delivery. The goal of this project is to improve personalised gene therapy treatments to result in readily accessible, affordable, and ready for use in clinical practice. As this project will be primarily based at the Westmead Precinct, the PhD candidate will have access to the cutting-edge technology and expertise present at this world-class facility. Throughout this project, they will be able to master a range of sought-after skills in viral vector design, manipulation of the AAV genome, vector manufacturing, and bioinformatic analysis, providing them with highly sought-after specialised skills.

  • See more information here.

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