2023 Metabolic Health Doctoral (PhD) Research Training Program

Applications are invited for 8 funded PhD Studentships across the Metabolic Health research theme commencing from April 2023, in the Health Futures Institute at Murdoch University. 
The PhD studentships will be based within the Australian National Phenome Centre (ANPC) and the Centre for Computational and Systems Medicine (CCSM) under world leading research scientists. The ANPC is exceptionally well-equipped with state-of-the-art analytical platforms dedicated to metabolic analysis for phenotyping human health and disease. CCSM has a world class facility for data analysis dedicated to molecular epidemiology, stratified medicine, and real-time diagnostics.  By integrating clinical, dietary, microbiota/microbiome, gene expression and metabolite data, we identify mechanisms through which all components of the microbiota and their functions influence human health and identify biochemical pathways contributing to healthy aging. 

Applications are invited for PhD projects exploring one of the following themes: 
  • Characterising the metabolic signatures associated with cognition and memory in aging populations using a combination of brain imaging and spectroscopic analysis. 
  • Investigating the role of the gut microbiome in healthy aging using molecular sequencing technologies and identifying metabolites and biochemical pathways associated with the activity of the gut bacterial community. 
  • Applying advanced mass spectrometry-based metabolic profiling technology to define molecular phenotypes associated with aging in multiple diverse human populations. 
  • Identifying key metabolic processes involved in post-acute Covid-19 syndrome (PACS; long Covid) using multi-platform metabolic phenotyping workflows.
  • Exploring the role of inflammation in the onset and development of chronic diseases.
  • Development of spectroscopic and bioinformatic pipelines for characterising the biochemical composition of human biofluids with a view to generating new technologies for disease diagnosis.
  • Developing metabolic imaging applications and bioinformatic tools to investigate tissue phenotypes in disease.

These studentships will leverage the world-leading analytical capacity of the Division and advance its informatics and imaging capacity to provide a multi-window view into systems metabolism with respect to human health and disease. Students will join a team of specialists across a wide range of disciplines including analytical spectroscopy and imaging, data science and clinical specialities and will be exposed to a dynamic, multi-disciplinary research environment. Opportunities will also be provided to undertake periods of research in the laboratories of international collaborators and to attend international research conferences.

These projects will be associated with multiple funding streams including the Australian Research Council, Industrial partners and Charitable funders.
Duration of Award:
3 years
Level of study:
  • Research


Applicants must be full time and meet the admission requirements of the required HDR degree to be eligible (first or upper second-class Honours degree, Masters degree by research, or equivalent).

The successful candidates will be expected to have an Honours/Masters level background in biomedical sciences, biochemistry, bioinformatics, or a related field. Previous experience with spectroscopic techniques (NMR and mass spectrometry), bioinfomatics or data science is desirable but not essential. Applicants should demonstrate previous examples of a willingness to develop inter-disciplinary skills, independent problem solving, and be self-motivated to complete research to the highest of standards.

The studentships are open to both domestic and international applications.

3.5 years, commencing from September 2023

How to Apply

To apply please send an expression of interest containing a CV and an covering letter to both Luke Whiley (luke.whiley@murdoch.edu.au) and Charisse Beltowski (charisse.beltowski@murdoch.edu.au)

Required Documents

To apply please send an expression of interest containing a CV and a covering letter to both Luke Whiley (luke.whiley@murdoch.edu.au) and Charisse Beltowski (charisse.beltowski@murdoch.edu.au)

Payment Method

AUD$33,000 p/a "plus tuition fee scholarship"