The University of Queensland School of Biomedical Sciences (SBMS) is a distinguished centre for teaching and research in the academic disciplines of Anatomy, Developmental Biology, Physiology, Pharmacology and Pathology. The School has more than 40 full-time research and teaching staff and is one of the largest Schools of its type in Australia. It has links to other prestigious research centres on the St Lucia campus including the Queensland Brain Institute (QBI), the Institute of Molecular Bioscience (IMB) and the Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (AIBN).
Details of the research interests of academic staff may be accessed on the school’s website.
The Vukovic – Neuroimmunology and Cognition Laboratory
The Vukovic laboratory investigates how brain function is sculpted and influenced by the immune system. Specifically, we examine the role of brain’s main resident immune cell population (i.e. microglia), as well as various peripheral immune cells, on learning and memory in mice.
We are interested in defining the contribution of immune cells to such higher cognitive tasks, including for neuroinflammatory conditions where learning and memory deficits can occur, e.g. following traumatic brain injury, cancer treatment, and ageing. We have established an array of genetic and pharmacological tools alongside robust behavioural assays to directly probe the function of these immune cells in both the healthy and diseased brain.
The ultimate goal of our work is to link cellular and molecular events to altered behaviour, and to harness the brain’s intrinsic regenerative potential for stimulating optimal cognitive function. For a recent highlight of our achievements see Willis et al., 2020.
About This Opportunity
We are currently seeking a highly motivated and enthusiastic postdoctoral scientist to conduct research into the molecular mechanisms underpinning the beneficial effects of microglia.
You will be responsible for developing and implementing genetic techniques to manipulate expression of candidate genes in microglia in order to uncover factors critical in limiting the spread of secondary brain damage.
General duties and responsibilities also include, but are not limited to:
- Design and conduct experiments to assess microglial function in vitro and in vivo.
- Prepare and publish high-quality manuscripts, provide weekly progress reports and participate in regular meetings to discuss project objectives, methodology and outcomes.
- Lead and develop a project/research team in line with best practice research methodologies, while managing and mentoring students/employees to create a positive scientific research culture.
- Contribute to day-to-day maintenance of lab supplies/stocks and cell/mouse lines.
This position is primarily located at our picturesque St Lucia campus. St Lucia is renowned as one of Australia’s most attractive university campuses and is located just 7km from Brisbane’s city centre. Bounded by the Brisbane River on three sides, and with outstanding public transport connections, our 114-hectare site provides a perfect work environment – you can enjoy the best of both worlds: a vibrant campus with the tradition of an established university.
Our Ideal Candidate
Alongside the completion of a PhD in neuroscience, immunology, or related disciplines, we are seeking candidates with the following skills and experience:
- Experience in handling mice, conducting surgical procedures in mice (e.g. stereotaxic surgery) and processing tissue samples for immunostaining or FACS analysis.
- Working knowledge of CRISPR/Cas and AAV-/LV- genome editing technologies.
- Demonstrated high-level communication and interpersonal skills including the ability to consult and negotiate to ensure project objectives are met.