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2023 PhD Project Opportunity – Microbiome Research Centre, St George Hospital

We are looking for an enthusiastic PhD student with a background in dietetics to join our liver cancer research team at the UNSW Microbiome Research Centre (MRC), St George Hospital. It is a great opportunity to join a multidisciplinary team of researchers in a supportive environment to help you achieve your research goals. Our research group at the MRC focuses on the role of the microbiome in the pathogenesis of liver disease and liver cancer.


About the Project

Emerging exciting data support the crucial role of dietary composition in shaping the gut microbiome and its metabolites in patients with liver disease. As such, the dietary composition is emerging to be a key player in determining outcomes of liver disease, liver cancer and response to immunotherapy.

Through a nationally-funded project, we have a large cohort of patients with liver disease that are being longitudinally followed up, forming the basis for an exciting PhD project to elucidate the role of dietary composition in modulating gut microbiome and its metabolites in liver disease and liver cancer, as well as response to immunotherapy. This will form the basis for precision nutritional interventional studies informed by patient-specific gut microbiome/metabolite profiles to improve outcomes of patients with liver disease and liver cancer.

Your expertise in dietetics will be required to collect, interpret, and analyse diet-related data in relation to the microbiome and metabolomic profile of participants recruited to the study. You will also participate in pilot clinical interventional studies to modulate gut microbiome and its metabolites through dietary interventions.

Your research will play a pivotal role in positioning precision nutrition at the frontiers of medicine to improve the outcomes for patients with liver cancer. You will also be part of an ongoing project aimed at the development of a microbial-based biomarker model for the early detection of liver cancer in Australia (a $4 million grant awarded to A/Prof Amany Zekry by the Medical Research Future Fund).


About you:

We are looking for applicants passionate about research in the field of nutrition and liver disease.

All applicants must meet the UNSW PhD admission criteria and hold an appropriate bachelor’s degree in nutrition, science, or an equivalent qualification from a tertiary institution as determined by the Faculty Higher Degree Committee (HDC).


Benefits of the position:
• An opportunity to join a multidisciplinary team leading microbiome research across several
disciplines of medicine
• Be in an environment that encourages growth and development
• Access to a large cohort of participants
• Possibility of applying for a scholarship and top-ups for suitably qualified candidates
• Experience the UNSW culture of equity, diversity and inclusion


How to apply:

Please send a cover letter detailing your research experience and interest in
the project, your academic transcript and CV as well as contact details for two referees
to a.zekry@unsw.edu.au.