PhD Studentship in single molecule neuroscience, UQ, Australia

Study in:Australia
Deadline: 13 Apr 2018

PhD Studentship in single molecule neuroscience

Job no:501398
Area:Queensland Brain Institute
Salary (FTE):Research Scholar BAND
Work type:Full Time – Scholarship
Location: St Lucia

PhD Studentship in single molecule neuroscience

Queensland Brain Institute

Established in 2003, QBI ( is situated on the St Lucia campus of UQ. It is home to more than 450 staff and students, including 41 group leaders, working across a range of disciplines, who are focused on discovering the fundamental mechanisms that regulate brain development and function in health and disease.

Over the past decade QBI has become known as one of the world’s leading neuroscience research institutes. It played a key role in contributing to UQ attaining the highest possible score of 5 for neuroscience, in the 2010, 2012 and 2015 Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) reviews, one of only two universities in Australia to achieve this.

The role

Brain cells are characterised by their ability to communicate with each other at the synapse and to survive much longer than any other cells. These two essential properties are affected in ageing and disease. The goal of this PhD project is to understand the presynaptic mechanisms that underpin neurotransmitter release and neuronal survival and establish how these are affected in neurodegenerative diseases.

Our laboratory has contributed to the rapidly emerging super-resolution field by providing a means of visualising single molecule behaviour in living neurosecretory cells and presynapses (1-4) to unravel dynamically regulated molecular binding events at the level of the synapse. The successful candidate will join the established laboratory group of Professor Frederic Meunier at the Queensland Brain Institute at the University of Queensland and will use super-resolution microscopy to detect and track individual protein molecules in live cultured neurons. The project will look at decrypting the complex behaviour of single molecules in terms of nanoscale organisation and molecular kinetics to better understand their role in physiology and pathology.

To know more about the lab group and its leader, Professor Fred Meunier, please go to the following link:


1.       A. T. Bademosi et al., In vivo single-molecule imaging of syntaxin1A reveals polyphosphoinositide- and activity-dependent trapping in presynaptic nanoclusters. Nat Commun 8, 13660 (2017).

2.       M. Joensuu et al., Subdiffractional tracking of internalized molecules reveals heterogeneous motion states of synaptic vesicles. J Cell Biol 215, 277-292 (2016).

3.       R. Vanhauwaert et al., The SAC1 domain in synaptojanin is required for autophagosome maturation at presynaptic terminals. EMBO J 36, 1392-1411 (2017).

4.       T. Wang et al., Control of autophagosome axonal retrograde flux by presynaptic activity unveiled using botulinum neurotoxin type A. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience 35, 6179-6194 (2015).

The person

Expressions of Interest are invited from outstanding and enthusiastic, international and Australian, science graduates ideally with a background in neuroscience, cell biology or biophysics or other relevant scientific discipline. Candidates will have a First Class Honours degree or equivalent and should be eligible for UQ scholarship consideration.  Some expertise in imaging or image analysis is required. Previous experience with microscopy and cloning would be helpful.

Applicants must fulfil the PhD admission criteria for the University of Queensland, including meeting English language requirements, and demonstrating excellent capacity and potential for research. Demonstration of research ability through publication output in peer reviewed international journals is desirable.

For further information on entry requirements, please visit  Successful applicants must accept and commence within 6 months of receiving an award.


Selected prospective international and domestic students will receive assistance to apply for University living allowance and tuition fee scholarships.  The 2018 Research Training Program (RTP) living allowance stipend rate is AUD$27,082 per annum (indexed annually), which is tax-free for three years with two possible extensions of up to 6 months each in approved circumstances (conditions apply).  For further information on scholarships refer to:


To discuss this role and for further information, please contact Professor Fred Meunier (

To submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) for consideration, ensure you use the UQ Jobs online recruitment system by following the Apply button below.  All applicants must supply the following documents: cover letter; complete official tertiary academic transcripts (with grades/GPA scores, and official grading scale details) and award certificates (testamurs); and a detailed academic resume/CV.

Important: please do not send your EOI directly to the contact person listed in this section of the advertisement.  EOIs not received via the UQ Jobs online system will not be considered.

For information on completing the application process click here.

Please note the different EOI closing dates below for domestic and international candidates leading up to the UQ Graduate School higher degree by research application and scholarship round timelines as advertised on their website:

Expression of Interest Closing Dates:

International candidates: 19 January 2018 – for consideration in relation to the next available UQ international scholarship round with commencement in Research Quarter 3 (July) 2018.

Domestic candidates: 13 April 2018 – for consideration in relation to the next UQ domestic scholarship round with commencement in Research Quarter 3 (July) 2018.

Advertised:  26 October 2017

Applications close:  13 April 2018 (11:55 PM) E. Australia Standard Time

Advertised: 30 Oct 2017 
Applications close: 13 Apr 2018 (11:55 PM) E. Australia Standard Time

Apply Now

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