We currently have several honors or PhD projects available in the lab.
#1. Whole genome CRISPR screening in human stem cells
Summary: This project will involve new whole genome CRISPR editing strategies, coupled with bioinformatics analysis, to identify the complete molecular mechanism of action for relevant human drugs or disease genes.
Recently CRISPR-based approaches have revolutionized functional genomics techniques. We have extensive experience with whole genome CRISPR screening, and using this technique we have defined the molecular mechanism of action for relevant human drugs or venoms from deadly Australian creatures. We currently have an interested in CRISPR screening of human embryonic or inducible pluripotent stem cells and are actively recruiting honours/PhD students to participate in this effort.
#2. Genes and Neural Circuits Controling Pain Perception
Summary: This project involves combining human genomics data for chronic pain disease with high throughput behavioural genomics techniques in fruit fly in order to better understand how chronic pain develops after injury.
This project will involve using high throughput genetics and genomics approaches to better understand how animals become sensitized to pain after injury. The project will use fruit fly behavioural genetics techniques, and potentially bioinformatics, transgenic mice or human stem cells, and the successful applicant will be trained in these techniques.
#3. Lifespan Extension
Summary: This project will combine human genomics with behavioural genetic and molecular biology in order to characterize new pathways that can extend lifespan and preserve cognitive function with age.
This project involves testing human genomics data on longevity to find new genes that can extend lifespan in the fruit fly. We focus on genes that when targeted specifically in the brain, can extend lifespan while also preserve cognitive function with age. We have identified 40 new targets that can extend lifespan, and the project will involve working on some of these new lifespan extending genes. The project will involve lifespan assays, behavioural genetics, molecular biology, and electrophysiology, and the successful candidate will be trained in all of these techniques.