Applications for this PhD have now closed.
Location University of Tasmania, School of Medicine
App. deadline 31/03/2017
  • Scholarship available
Eligibility Open to international applicants

Pericyte regulation of blood flow in the brain and its dysfunction following stroke

A PhD scholarship is available within the School of Medicine at the University of Tasmania to investigate the role of pericytes in the brain during health and following stroke. Pericytes are contractile cells located exclusively on capillaries. They have key roles in maintaining the blood-brain barrier, vascular development, angiogenesis and regulating the passage of inflammatory cells into the brain. In addition, they can regulate capillary diameter and therefore control the delivery of blood flow to the brain. Following stroke, pericytes contract and die in rigor, leaving the capillaries shut meaning restoration of blood flow is limited. This project will use in vitro cell culture techniques to investigate human pericytes in isolation and determining mechanisms of pericyte contraction and dilation which could influence blood flow in the brain. In vivo models of stroke will also be used to assess how pericytes are clamping capillaries shut and subsequently dying. The student will develop skills in cell culture, qPCR, biochemical assays, in vivo models of stroke and microscopy. They will use both pharmacological and genetic strategies to determine pericyte-specific mechanisms and uncover novel pericyte-acting compounds that may protect the brain after a stroke.

This is a living allowance scholarship funded by the University of Tasmania and will be funded at the 2017 RTP rate of AUD$26,682 per annum as a living allowance for 3 years, with a possible 6 month extension.

The scholarship is open to Australian (domestic) candidates and International candidates and applicants must already have been awarded a first class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector. Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills and meet English Language requirements. Basic expertise and experience is required in one or more of the following areas: neuroscience, vascular biology, animal models, molecular biology and histology techniques, and/or microscopy. Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

Applicants should email a CV including publication record, copies of their transcripts and contact details for at least 2 referees to Dr Brad Sutherland ( Please contact Brad if you require any more information.

Please Note: Should this listing mention details of an available scholarship, it is your responsibility to confirm the specifics with the university / institute prior to applyiing. Terms and conditions are in some cases subject to change and are not always reflected immediately within listings.

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Further Information / Application Enquiries

Dr Brad Sutherland