First listed on: 20 January 2022

Scholarship in the Development of a Universal Gene Therapy Approach for Liver Disease

  • $140,000 scholarship for a PhD student in the Faculty of Medicine and Health (University of Sydney) to undertake research into a universal gene therapy approach for liver disease.
  • Work with one of Australia’s most respected national and independent medical research institutes
  • Located in Westmead, one of Sydney’s and Australia’s major biomedical research hubs


A PhD scholarship is offered, for a student to work on the project: Development of a universal gene therapy approach using CRISPR-based genome editing technology to treat paediatric liver disease.

This PhD project aims to develop a universal genome editing platform technology that can be easily adapted to treat urea-cycle disorders and liver disease more broadly. This approach has the advantage of correcting all mutations within the target gene regardless of their type and could, therefore, treat all patients with the same gene therapy vector, ensuring the greatest clinical applicability. In addition, the reagents generated in this project will be configured with the end-in-mind and will be directly translatable without further modification. The project will also identify novel, highly human liver-specific, vectors with the potential to generate intellectual property and commercial interest. Studies will be performed in patient-specific primary human hepatocytes in vivo, the most relevant pre-clinical model for human translation.

Children’s Medical Research Institute (CMRI) is an award-winning state-of-the-art medical research facility, with over 100 full-time scientists dedicated to researching the genes and proteins important for health and human development. CMRI is located at Westmead, a major hub for research and medicine in NSW, and is affiliated with the University of Sydney. We are easy to access by public transport.


This scholarship is valued at $40,000 per annum and is tenable for up to 3.5 years.

Who's eligible

You must:

  • be an Australian Citizen, Australian Permanent Resident or hold an appropriate visa that provides residency status and the right to work in Australia until the later of the 30 August 2023 or the projected conclusion of your PhD candidature
  • be willing to apply for admission, applied for admission, have a conditional or unconditional offer of admission to commence or be currently enrolled in a full-time PhD within the Faculty of Medicine and Health
  • conduct research as part of a project named, ‘Development of a universal gene therapy approach using CRISPR-based genome editing technology to treat paediatric liver disease.’
  • be able to demonstrate you hold an undergraduate degree with at least a credit average or equivalent and have either:
    • research experience through an honours program (First Class or Second Class, Division I), or
    • a Masters Degree by Research in a relevant subject.


Preference will be given to applicants who can demonstrate they have experience in one or more of the following:

  • molecular cloning
  • tissue culture
  • animal handling
  • vector production, and/or
  • immunofluorescence and immunohistochemistry.


This scholarship is funded by New South Wales (NSW) Health and the University of Sydney as part of the NSW Health Gene and Cell Therapy PhD Program.


Applications MUST be submitted here:


Closing date: 11 February 2022 at 11.59 pm


Contact Dr Samantha Ginn for more information:


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