PhD scholarship - Amplification strategies in point-of-care electrochemical biosensors

A PhD scholarship is available in Deakin's Centre for Chemistry and Biotechnology (CCMB), School of Life and Environmental Sciences. The PhD student, under the guidance of the Chief Investigator, will initiate and conduct research on the topic of ‘Amplification strategies in point-of-care electrochemical biosensors’ led by Dr Angel Torriero. 

The successful PhD candidate will work in collaboration with a Melbourne-based company that has a successful track record with invention, research, development, clinical trials, regulatory affairs and high-speed automated manufacture of commercial electrochemical biosensors.

The project is expected to commence in June 2017.

Research topic

PhD Scholarship in amplification strategies in point-of-care electrochemical biosensors.

Project aim

Point-of-care biosensors are useful when patients or physicians need a rapid measurement of a biochemical species or property. Commercial examples include glucose, blood coagulation time, cardiac markers and pregnancy tests. This is part of a growing revolution in medical testing that seeks to bring the test to the patient so they and their doctor get the information they need when they need it. 

Some analytes of interest are very dilute and so the signal needs to be amplified. This can be true for DNA and certain medically important antigens, such as heart attack markers. The research program being proposed will explore biochemical amplification strategies for point of care tests of interest to the industrial partner. The work will involve the development of new chemical/biochemical strategies, the design of novel reagents and the design, fabrication and testing of new types of biosensors to use the reagents. 

The project aims to develop systems for chemically amplifying a signal from biosensing events that allow the reliable detection of chosen analytes at pM concentrations and below, using an electrochemical readout system. This will involve: 

  • Development of chemical strategies to achieve the amplification
  • Optimisation of the reagents utilised in the process
  • Integration of the amplification process with a commercial biosensor system
  • Refinement of system to enable cost-effective production and use in a point-of-care test product.

Value and duration


  • A stipend of $26,628 (2017 rate) per annum tax exempt
  • A relocation allowance up to $1,500 (2017 rate) awarded to students who are moving from interstate or overseas in order to study at Deakin
  • Paid sick, maternity and parental leave


  • 3 years

Important dates

Opening date

Now open

Closing date

1st May 2017

Eligibility criteria


  • Domestic candidate only (Australian Citizenship, Australian Permanent Resident, New Zealand Citizenship). 
  • Applicants must meet Deakin's PhD entry requirements, be enrolling full-time and hold an Honours degree (First Class) or a Master's degree with a substantial research component in a related field. Please refer to the entry pathways to higher degrees by research for further information. 
  • A Bachelor qualification in either Science, Biochemistry, or Biomedical Science with a large content of chemistry-based units.
  • Ability to adapt to changes in the environment and effectively meet new challenges.
  • Interpersonal skills that demonstrate the ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with other students and the staff of the School and with other members of the University.
  • Willingness to work with human whole blood.


  • Experience with biochemistry and protein chemistry.
  • An interest in applied science and product development.

How to apply

Please refer to the how to apply for a research degree page for application information.

Further information

If you wish to discuss your research interests and project proposal before applying, please contact Dr. Angel A.J. Torriero via email or phone at +61 3 9244 6897 or Prof. Leigh Ackland via email or phone at +61 3 9251 7036.