There are currently two strategies employed to control influenza infection in humans: vaccines and antivirals. Although generally effective, the imperfect proof-reading capacity of the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase allows influenza viruses to constantly mutate necessitating periodic reformulation of the seasonal vaccine, and contributes to the emergence of resistance following the use of antivirals like oseltamivir (Tamiflu). The deficiencies in vaccination (mismatches) have been highlighted in recent serious influenza season epidemics.
Traditionally the above mentioned intervention strategies have solely targeted the virus. There is however increasing evidence to suggest that targeting of host cell function can alter virus replication, inflammation and pathology leading to improved disease outcomes. This PhD project proposal seeks to build on this pioneering work by providing mechanistic insights and advancing new concepts in this exciting emerging field of research.
To investigate the role of Tissue Inhibitors of Metalloproteinases (TIMPs) in influenza virus and Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) infection. The Stambas laboratory has recently published a paper highlighting the importance of ADAMTS extracellular matrix enzymes in viral immunity (especially trafficking of CD8+ T cells to effector sites). We now look to extend these studies by focusing on TIMP enzmyes as they are known inhibitors of metalloproteinases activity.
The new PhD student will focus on influenza studies in the Stambas laboratory and can compare results to RSV infection with the assistance of Prof Ralph Tripp at the University of Georgia who was also a co-author on the original ADAMTS paper.
ADAMTS5 Is a Critical Regulator of Virus-Specific T Cell Immunity.
McMahon M, Ye S, Izzard L, Dlugolenski D, Tripp RA, Bean AG, McCulloch DR, Stambas J.PLoS Biol. 2016 Nov 17;14(11):e1002580.
Applications close 5pm, Thursday 31 October 2019.
This scholarship is available over 3 years.
- Stipend of $27,596 per annum tax exempt (2019 rate)
- Relocation allowance of $500-1500 (for single to family) for students moving from interstate or overseas
To be eligible you must:
- be a domestic candidate (domestic includes candidates with Australian Citizenship, Australian Permanent Residency or New Zealand Citizenship).
- meet Deakin's PhD entry requirements
- be enrolling full time and hold an honours degree (first class) or an equivalent standard master's degree with a substantial research component.
Please refer to the research degree entry pathways page for further information.
How to apply
Interested applicants should email their CV and academic transcript to Prof John Stambas.
Applicants invited to submit a full application should follow the instructions on our How to Apply page.