PhD Scholarships in Bioprocessing - Project 2

Updated: about 1 year ago
Location: St Lucia, QUEENSLAND
Deadline: 31 Oct 2017

Apply now Job no:501161
Area:Aust Institute for Bioengineering & Nanotechnology
Salary (FTE):Research Scholar BAND
Work type:Full Time - Scholarship
Location: St Lucia

PhD Scholarships in Bioprocessing - Examining metabolic demands for continuous bioprocessing

The University of Queensland's Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (AIBN) is a dynamic multi-disciplinary research institute dedicated to developing technology to alleviate societal problems in the areas of health, energy, manufacturing and environmental sustainability. AIBN brings together the skills of more than 250 world-class researchers complimented by an extensive suite of integrated facilities, working at the intersection of biology, chemistry, engineering and computer modelling. With a reputation for delivering translational science, AIBN conducts research at the forefront of emerging technologies, and has developed strong collaborations with leading members of industry, academia and government. AIBN goes beyond basic research to develop the growth of innovative industries for the benefit of the Queensland and Australian economies.

Information about the Institute can be accessed on the Institute’s web site at .

The ARC Training Centre for Biopharmaceutical Innovation (CBI), located within the AIBN is enhancing Australia’s bio/pharmaceutical capabilities through dedicated research and development programs with leading industrial partners. The Centre conducts research in three thematic areas:  new biopharmaceutical and diagnostic agent discovery; development of mammalian cells as factories for recombinant protein production; and advanced manufacturing of biopharmaceuticals. The CBI is supported by industry partners CSL Limited, the Australian Red Cross Blood Service (ARCBS) and Patheon, part of Thermo Fisher Scientific.

As a condition of the ARC Industrial Transformation Training Centre funding scheme, students will spend periods of time at Patheon Biologics Ltd based in Brisbane and also Patheon at Princeton, New Jersey USA, that total at least 12 months over a four year period. 

The project

Examining metabolic demands for continuous bioprocessing

This project will be offered in collaboration with CBI partner Patheon, part of Thermo Fisher Scientific. 

The increasing demand for recombinant therapeutic proteins highlights the need to constantly improve the efficiency and yield of these biopharmaceutical products from mammalian cells, which is fully achievable only through proper understanding of cellular functioning. Towards this end, the current study exploited a combined metabolomics and in silico modelling approach to gain a deeper insight into the cellular mechanisms of Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) for high density cultures.

The Patheon process for high density cell culture (Patheon XD® Upstream Processing (USP) technology) can result in up to a 25 fold increase in bioreactor output (cell density). The proprietary Patheon XD® USP bioprocess may be further improved, if a systems biology driven understanding of the fermentation process is achieved. Understanding of the byproducts and metabolites produced, that favour high density will be used as inputs for the model that may result in an optimised bioprocesses.


  • Development of an optimised bioprocess for CHO cell line(s) for high density cell culture utilising a systems biology approach with particular emphasis in metabolomics and in silico modelling.
  • Evaluate performance of newly developed bioprocess utilising Patheon XD® USP systems.

The successful candidate will receive systematic training in bioprocess & operation for mammalian cell line engineering for production of recombinant protein biopharmaceuticals and in high throughput analytical chemistry for metabolomics and in silico modelling.

The successful candidate will receive systematic training in LCMS and UHPLC and small to large scale expression and purification of recombinant protein biopharmaceuticals.

The candidate will also develop skills in the theory, use and operation of in silico modelling.  

The persons

A PhD is about learning new skills, how to do research, and becoming an independent researcher. We recognise that students will come to us from different backgrounds in order to learn these new skills and we welcome interest from domestic (i.e. Australian and New Zealand) students and international students.

Background in molecular biology, bioprocessing, systems wide analysis using genome-scale metabolic reconstruction and modelling are desirable.

Mandatory requirements for international applicants:

1. At least 2 high quality research publications;

2. Excellent academic performance evidenced by a high Grade Point Average (GPA); and

3. International applicants must meet the University of Queensland's English Language Proficiency (ELP) requirements, detailed at


The base stipend will be at the rate of AUD $26,682 per annum tax-free for three years with two possible six month extensions in approved circumstances.


To discuss this role please contact Dr Esteban Marcellin via email .  

To apply for this role please use the Apply button below and quote the Project Title above in your Cover Letter. 

Advertised:11 Sep 2017
Applications close:31 Oct 2017 (11:55 PM) E. Australia Standard Time

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