• Infectious disease
  • Respiratory and thoracic

Location: UQ Centre for Clinical Research (Herston)

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

Our recent pilot study testing an innovative Nasal Microbiota Transplant therapy that uses the nasal secretions from healthy donors to treat patients suffering from recalcitrant chronic sinus infections yielded promising results. The PhD project will involve testing the Nasal Microbiota Transplant therapy against a placebo via a double-blind randomised controlled trial. If the Nasal Microbiota Transplant therapy is found to be effective in an RCT, it could be translated in clinical practice. The data derived from this project includes patient related outcomes as well as microbiome and cytokine data. Thus, the student will acquire knowledge and skills of how to perform a clinical trial as well as basic science in microbiology, nasal physiology and human immune system. The project will add substantially to our understanding of the role of the microbiome in the airways and its role in interfering with respiratory pathogens and host immunity, which is likely to have implications not only for sinus infections but also for asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) as well.

Prerequisite skills: No prerequisite skills required.

Time frame: Project to start January 2022


Professor Anders Cervin

Prof Chair Otolaryngology(Conjoint)
Royal Brisbane Clinical Unit

Main Contact Person

Diane Maresco-Pennisi