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Postgraduate research project opportunities

From time to time our schools and faculties seek prospective master by research or PhD students to undertake research projects on a particular topic.

These may be individual projects or collaborations with other institutions or industry partners. In some cases, the projects may also include funding opportunities such as scholarships.

The following list provides information on projects currently open to new research students. For more information on each project please contact the nominated researcher.

This page will be updated as opportunities become available so please check back regularly.

 

Exercise and Health Science


Medical and Paramedical Sciences

Project Overview:
There is still no definitive pre-mortem diagnosis for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and the current gold standard markers are either invasive or expensive for population wide screening. The advertised Ph.D. position will investigate changes occurring in the retina in the eyes of study participants using a breakthrough NASA inspired technology and its relationship with changes occurring in the brain. This will enable us to identify potential biomarkers in the eye for the early diagnosis of AD in a highly-characterized cohort that include participants in the preclinical stage of AD, as assessed from the brain beta amyloid load, a gold standard marker of AD.

Hypothesis: AD pathogenesis-related biomarkers in the retina can identify pre-clinical Alzheimer’s disease.
Aims: Identify retinal biomarkers in the eyes of individuals in the preclinical phase of AD versus healthy control individuals, and validate findings in an independent cohort.

Methods: Hyperspectral retinal imaging will be performed using state of the art metabolic hyperspectral retinal camera (MHRC) along with other cognitive and retinal assessments, blood biomarker analysis and brain imaging. The MHRC has been donated by the Lions Alzheimer’s Foundation for this project and is one of the only 3 currently available in Australia (the second camera is at our Sydney site, at Macquarie University).

Inquiries:
For more information about this project, contact:
Professor Ralph Martins AO
Email: r.martins@ecu.edu.au
Dr Tejal Shah
Email: tejal.shah@ecu.edu.au

N-glycans play an essential role in biological process and are associated with age, gender, and body mass parameters. To investigate the correlation between N-glycan structures and metabolic syndrome (MetS) components, we are conducting a population-based study in Chinese individuals. The replication study is performed on unrelated individuals Australian cohorts (Busselton Health Aging Study, BHAS). The most prominent observation is the consistent positive correlations between different forms of triantennary glycans and negative correlations between glycans containing core-fucose with MetS components including BMI, SBP, DBP, and fasting plasma glucose (FPG) simultaneously. The preliminary result shows that variations in the composition of the N-glycome in human plasma could represent the alternations of human metabolism and could be potential biomarkers of MetS.

Research Areas: Global Health, Public Health Genomics, Biomarker Screening and Validation.

This project is supported by a scholarship. For more information, visit the Higher Degrees by Research scholarship web page.


Contact: For more information about this project, please contact Professor Wei Wang. Email: wei.wang@ecu.edu.au


Computer and Security Science

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 For information about applying for a course, visit the PhD and Research Degree web page, which also includes links to scholarship information.

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