The UQ Thoracic Research Centre at The Prince Charles Hospital is a Centre of the PCH-Northside Clinical Unit at The University of Queensland. It is also closely aligned to the Thoracic Medicine Department of The Prince Charles Hospital.

Our Aim: ‘Research for Respiratory Health’

Our Purpose: ‘Improving lung health through translational, clinical, molecular and genomic research’

This Research Centre is focused on undertaking clinical, translational and scientific research to improve lung health, particularly relating to lung cancer, mesothelioma, and chronic airway diseases (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease - COPD, and asthma). The UQTRC has a multidisciplinary research team with medical staff, research nurses, a research laboratory and administration and management roles. The laboratory is a fully functional molecular laboratory, capable of most molecular genetic techniques and administers the extensive TPCH Lung Biobank, which supports research with lung research with specimens collected over a 20 year period. Funding to support research projects is currently obtained from a range of funding bodies including NHMRC, ARC, DDB, TPCH Foundation, Cancer Australia and the Cancer Council of Queensland.

Positions are available for staff and students - please contact us for information about current positions.

We are interested in enthusiastic people in the following areas:

  • Health Practitioner, Science or Medical graduates seeking to contribute to lung health research
  • Honours/Masters/PhD students wishing to make a difference to people with lung disease
  • Volunteer researchers seeking to donate time and energy to advancing scientific research
  • Summer students

The ACRF Centre for Lung Cancer Early Detection

The Australian Cancer Research Foundation (ACRF) Centre for Lung Cancer Early Detection is an Australia-wide multi-disciplinary research initiative, led by Professor Kwun Fong, and will conduct basic and clinical translational research into methods for detecting lung cancer at the earliest possible stage.

Centre for Lung Cancer Early Detection

We have a number of exciting PhD opportunities available for prospective PhD students.

Our research spans diseases and platforms including:

  • lung cancer, new ways of diagnosis, staging and treatment
  • mesothelioma and asbestos disease
  • COPD
  • Microbiome and breath metabolome
  • Chronic lung disease
  • Promoting health lungs
  • Insight into lung ageing
  • Established and emerging threats to health such as air pollution and carcinogens such as asbestos
  • Genetics and genomics, susceptibility, acquired mutations, SNP, eQTL
  • Epigenetics and epigenomics
  • TMAs and immunochemistry
  • Digital PCR and ultrasensitive molecular detection
  • CT Screening and early detection including breath testing for disease, liquid biopsies, risk prediction
  • Tumour banking for accelerating scientific discoveries
  • Collaborative international projects such as the IASLC TNM databases, TCGA
  • Clinical guidelines and best practice
  • Multidisciplinary care
  • Advanced bronchoscopy and imaging
  • Disease risk factors, prevention and risk prediction
  • Translating research to the clinic for healthy lungs

Download our list of current projects

Director of the UQTRC

Professor Kwun Fong, Team Leader: Lung cancer
Phone: +61 7 3139 4000
Email Address: Kwun.Fong@health.qld.gov.au

Senior Researchers

Professor Ian Yang, Team leader: Airways diseases - COPD, air pollution, ageing
Phone: +61 7 3139 4000
Email Address: Ian.Yang@health.qld.gov.au

Associate Professor Rayleen Bowman, Team leader: Mesothelioma
Phone: +61 7 3139 4000
Email Address: Rayleen.Bowman@health.qld.gov.au

Clinical Research Team and Students

Dr Henry Marshall, Clinical Academic Fellow
Phone: +61 7 3139 4000
Email Address: Henry.Marshall@health.qld.gov.au

Ms Linda Passmore, Research Nurse
Phone: +61 7 3139 4000
Email Address:  Lungscreen@health.qld.gov.au

Ms Elizabeth McCaul, Research Nurse
Phone: +61 7 3139 4000
Email Address:  Lungscreen@health.qld.gov.au

Ms Deborah Courtney, Research Nurse
Phone: +61 7 3139 4000
Email Address:  lung research@health.qld.gov.au

Ms Jacci Brady, Research Nurse
Phone: +61 7 3139 4000
Email Address:  lung research@health.qld.gov.au

Ms Pam Fung, Research Nurse
Phone: +61 7 3139 4000
Email Address:  lung research@health.qld.gov.au

Current PhD students

  • Ms Barbara Page
  • Dr Marissa Daniels
  • Ms Janet Shaw
  • Ms Kelly Chee
  • Ms Eloise Shaw
  • Ms Brielle Parris
  • Ms Hannah O’Farrell

Current Masters Students

  • Mr Jeff Overington
  • Mr Marsus Pumar

Laboratory Team and Students

Ms Maria Martins, Laboratory Manager
Phone: +61 7 3139 4110
Email Address: mmartins@uq.edu.auMaria.Martins@health.qld.gov.au

Dr Annalicia Vaughan, Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Phone: +61 7 3139 4110
Email Address: a.vaughan@uq.edu.au

Dr Felicia Goh, Postdoctoral Scientist
Phone: +61 7 3139 4110
Email Address: f.goh@uq.edu.au

For a computer scientist to develop the app

Name: Developing a chat bot for smoking cessation

Duration: 3 years

Value: UQ PhD stipend

Smoking is a significant cause of disease and mortality globally.  Helping smokers to quit is challenging.  New technology, such as smartphone apps, could complement existing smoking cessation services but the optimal design, development and clinical impact of such systems remains uncertain and an emerging research area.  An app that provides tailored rather than generic support to smokers, akin to counselling, may be beneficial.

Researchers from Queensland Health, University of Queensland and CSIRO are seeking a PhD candidate to conduct research into the development and testing of a conversation agent (or chat-bot) that will give individualised smoking cessation counselling and expert advice to smokers.

The ideal candidate will be keen to build bridges between computer science and health outcomes. They will possess a strong background in either computer science or linguistic studies. Knowledge of natural language processing, machine learning, computational logic would be looked upon favourably as well as a strong command of colloquial English.

This project has NHMRC funding. The research will be conducted under the supervision of Dr. Henry Marshall (Henry.Marshall@health.qld.gov.au) and Dr. David Ireland (d.ireland@csiro.au).

For further information contact Dr. David Ireland.

For a social scientist to run the pilot testing side

Name: Testing a chat bot for smoking cessation

Duration: 3 years

Value: UQ PhD stipend

Smoking is a significant cause of disease and mortality globally.  Helping smokers to quit is challenging.  New technology, such as smartphone apps, could complement existing smoking cessation services but the optimal design, development and clinical impact of such systems remains uncertain and is an emerging research area.  An app that provides tailored rather than generic support to smokers, akin to counselling, may be beneficial.

We are looking for a qualified and enthusiastic PhD student with a behavioural change/psychology/social science or public health background to test and refine a prototype smoking cessation app in a clinical testing amongst consumers, patients and clinical experts in smoking cessation. 

This project has NHMRC funding and involves collaboration between computer science, behavior change psychology and clinical medicine. 

For further information contact Dr. Henry Marshall (Henry.Marshall@health.qld.gov.au)

See website for more details: https://graduate-school.uq.edu.au/phd-scholarships-health

For a clinical or biomedical scientist

Name: Lung Cancer Screening

Lung cancer is the major cause of cancer deaths and for the first time, there are starting to be reductions in lung cancer mortality from early detection/screening and effective systemic treatments.

We are undertaking and international CT lung cancer screening trial across Australia, Canada, Hong Kong and Spain.

We are looking for a qualified and enthusiastic PhD student with background in health, medicine or nursing, to participate in the screening study, to research implementation and barriers to uptake of this technology.

This project has NHMRC funding and involves collaboration between science, imaging, AI, nursing, health service delivery and clinical medicine.

A PhD scholarship is available for the successful applicant.

Please contact Professor Kwun Fong to discuss this opportunity kwun.fong@health.qld.gov.au

For a clinical or biomedical scientist

Name: Lung Cancer Biomarkers

Duration: 3 years

Value: UQ PhD stipend

Lung cancer is the major cause of cancer deaths and for the first time, there are starting to be reductions in lung cancer mortality from early detection/screening and effective systemic treatments

A major development has been the ability to use modern next gen sequencing and other ultra sensitive eg PCR techniques to identify tumour biomarkers in blood (liquid biomarkers) for the purpose of diagnosis, response prediction, monitoring and prognostication. 

We are undertaking several clinical trials to determine the clinical validity and clinical utility for high priority lung cancer biomarker panels.

We are looking for a qualified and enthusiastic PhD student with background in health, medicine, surgery or nursing, to participate in these biomarker research projects, to test the value of these new next gen tests for optimising cancer detection and care

This project has NHMRC funding and involves collaboration between clinical medicine and surgery, molecular and sequencing experts, nursing and oncology.

Two PhD scholarships are available for successful applicants.

Please contact Professor Kwun Fong to discuss this opportunity kwun.fong@health.qld.gov.au

Address: UQ Thoracic Research Centre
Level 1 Clinical Sciences Building
The Prince Charles Hospital
Rode Rd Chermside 4032
Phone: +61 7 3139 4110
Email: uqtrc@uq.edu.au