PhD Scholarship Opportunity in Liver Cancer Research

Updated: 5 months ago
Location: Melbourne, VICTORIA
Deadline: 06 Sep 2019

PhD Scholarship Opportunity in Liver Cancer Research

Location: Clayton campus 

Employment Type: 3 years full-time

Duration: Fixed-term appointment until 31 December 2020 

Remuneration: Stipend of $27,872 per annum

Department: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology - Medicine, Nursing & Health Science/School of Biomedical Science

About the position

The Cellular Signalling & Metabolic Disease Laboratory ( ) is seeking an enthusiastic student to conduct research in obesity-associated liver cancer.

Primary liver cancer is one of the world’s deadliest cancers and the third most common cause of cancer death. Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) represents 85-90% of primary liver cancers and is refractory to nearly all currently available anti-cancer therapies. Over the last 20 years, the incidence of HCC in developed countries has been increasing in developed countries including the United States, Europe and Australia. The obesity epidemic and the accompanying development of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NALFD), evident in >85% of all obese individuals, are thought to be key contributors to the development of HCC.

NAFLD has an estimated worldwide prevalence of >25% and encompasses a broad spectrum of liver conditions ranging from simple steatosis, or non-alcoholic fatty liver, to the more severe and progressive disease, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). NASH is characterised by overt hepatic inflammation and tissue damage and ensuing reparative responses that result in fibrosis and ultimately cirrhosis, the principal cause of liver-related morbidity and mortality. Obesity-associated NASH is currently the third leading cause for liver transplantation and is expected to surpass hepatitis C as the principal cause for liver transplantation in the developed world.

This project will build on recent work from the lab published in Cell and (Grohmann et al., 2018) and will take advantage of cancer cell models, animal models, pharmacological approaches and human liver cancer specimens and xenografts to determine the molecular mechanisms by which obesity drives the development of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and hepatocellular carcinomas (HCCs) and explore novel approaches for combating the development of HCC in obesity.

Candidate Requirements 

All applicants must be able to demonstrate a capacity to carry out independent research and have adequate training and ability to pursue the proposed course of study. In all cases, the qualifications described below must be from Monash University or an equivalent institution in the opinion of the Graduate Research Committee (GRC). 

Exceptional graduate students with a high level (H1) Honours degree, a Master’s degree with a significant research component, or qualifications deemed equivalent by the GRC, in the field of Biochemistry, Cancer Biology or a related discipline are encouraged to apply.

In addition to the minimum entry requirement, eligibility for a stipend depends on your circumstances. We award a range of scholarships through a competitive selection process based on your academic record, research output, and research experience. Further details on eligibility requirements can be found at:

How to apply

To apply for one of the advertised positions in the Tiganis laboratory, you must email Professor Tiganis directly at least 2 weeks prior to the deadline with the following information:

  • A cover letter including a brief outline (1 page) detailing your interest in, and suitability for, the project
  • A detailed curriculum vitae including academic transcript(s)
  • Names and contact details of 2 academic referees  

International applicants are encouraged to also apply for a Monash International Tuition Scholarship (MITS).

Enquiries and applications 

For more details about the project please contact:

Professor Tony Tiganis,

Closing Date

Application final deadlines are as follows:

  • International applicants - 31 August 2019 
  • Domestic applicants (Australian citizens and permanent residents) - 31 October 2019


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