• Endocrinology
  • Immunology

Location: UQ Diamantina Institute

Type of student: Higher Degree Research only i.e. PhD or MPhil (intercalated MD-PhD & MD-MPhil)

Type of work: 

  • Clinical work
  • Literature review
  • Statistical analysis
  • Wet lab work

Brief synopsis:

Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is the most common chronic disease of childhood. It is triggered by an immune dysregulation causing T cells to attack the insulin-producing islet b cells in the pancreas. This results in elevated blood-glucose and severe life-long complications. Our laboratory aims to develop a T cell targeted immunotherapy to prevent or treat T1D. For this goal to be successful, better tools are needed to detect and characterise islet-specific T cells in patient blood as a way to monitor responses to immunotherapy. An understanding is needed of how these T cell responses vary between different patient groups. This project aims to develop an approach to personalised immunomonitoring of islet specific T cells using state-of-the-art high-parameter immune profiling, single cell sequencing and clonotype analysis of islet-specific T cells in patient blood. This approach will later be used to characterise how these T cells respond to immunotherapy. The ideal candidate will have prior knowledge and academic achievement in the field of immunology. Coding in R or practical experience in experimental immunology would be desirable. This project is aligned with a National Health and Medical Research Council funded grant and will be co-supervised by Prof Ranjeny Thomas, A/Prof Emma Hamilton-Williams, Dr Ahmed Mehdi and Dr Mark Harris. The supervisory team is highly experienced and provides broad expertise and experience in immunology, bioinformatics, translational and clinical research.

Prerequisite skills: Coding experience and/or immunology knowledge or experience is desirable

Time frame: Ideally begin to get experience in 2021, to start PhD in 2022


Ranjeny Thomas

Professor Ranjeny Thomas

Arthritis Qld Chair of Rheumatology
The University of Queensland Diamantina Institute