Hopkirk Research Institute PhD Scholarship
The AgResearch Infectious Diseases Team in the Hopkirk Research Institute in Palmerston North conducts research aimed at discovering and characterizing novel vaccines for veterinary use, as well as operating a specialized diagnostic laboratory which is IANZ accredited to ISO17025.We are seeking a PhD student to develop a vaccine to combat sheep pneumonia. Pneumonia and pleurisy in sheep causes a significant loss in lost productivity for sheep industry in New Zealand. Mycoplasma is one of the important pathogens for the disease. Using microbiological, molecular biology and immunological tools, the student will work towards the identification of novel vaccine components. The team includes scientists and laboratory technicians skilled in microbiology, virology, immunology, molecular biology and use of in vivo animal models.
Candidates will have a suitable degree preferably in a discipline relevant to microbiology, molecular biology or immunology. Prior experience in protein analysis, bioinformatics and handling of microorganisms would be advantageous.The three year studentship offers an annual stipend ($30,000) and covers university fees and operating costs. It is important that the candidate is able to fulfill the requirements for initial and continued enrolment in a PhD programme at Massey University.
- AgResearch is one of New Zealand's leading research organizations. We work for the benefit of New Zealand, collaborating closely with industry partners to achieve the outcomes they need. AgResearch's purpose is to enhance the value, productivity and profitability of New Zealand's pastoral, agri-food and agri-technology sector value chains to contribute to economic growth and beneficial environmental and social outcomes for New Zealand.
Further details can be obtained from:
Dr Tao Zheng, Senior Scientist, Hopkirk Research Institute.
|Associate Professor Alan Murray, Hopkirk Research Institute. |
PhD Position in Plant Biology and Bioinformatics :
Camellia Petal Blight is a major fungal disease problem for growers and exporters in many parts of the world. Camellia flowers infected with the causal pathogen Ciborinia camelliae show brown discolouration characteristic of this disease. Fungicide applications, and other horticultural methods aimed at reducing disease levels, have failed to provide adequate control. The development of resistant camellia varieties is the best long-term strategy for management of this disease. We have shown that some Camellia species and varieties show resistance but this trait is not a simple monogenic trait. In addition, our genomic and transcriptomic analysis of the disease has uncovered a wide variety of plant and fungal factors involved in disease resistance and susceptibility.
- A PhD position is available to study mechanisms of resistance and susceptibility of Camellia spp. to petal blight. In addition to bioinformatics analysis, the project will involve field collection of samples, microbiological and plant pathology work in the laboratory, molecular cloning and PCR.
- Principal supervisors will be Paul Dijkwel, Rosie Bradshaw and Murray Cox (Institute of Fundamental Sciences, Massey University) with advisory input from breeders and growers associated with the Camellia Memorial Trust. This team combines internationally-recognised expertise in molecular and classical plant pathology, plant physiology and bioinformatics. Training will involve the acquisition of valuable skills in high-throughput sequence data handling and their application to the critically important area of plant health, providing a solid foundation for further relevant international employment opportunities.
Applicants should have a background in plant biology with a genuine interest in disease resistance. Relevant experience in bioinformatics or fungal biology is an advantage. Applicants should hold, or expect to hold, a high grade Honours or Masters-level degree (or equivalent) in relevant life sciences.
- The scholarship has a value of 28,000 NZD tax free p/a including PhD registration fees (Currently approx. 7,000 NZD for international and domestic students) for up to 3 years. International applicants should meet the Massey University English language requirement for postgraduate studies.
- Applications should be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org and should include a full CV, a cover letter outlining your interests in relation to this research, and the names and contact details of two academic referees. The closing date for applications is 2 February 2015.