PhD Scholarship Opportunity - Osteoarthritis and Obesity

Outstanding candidates are encouraged to apply for the following funded PhD project at the Dept of Medicine, Royal Melbourne Hospital, the University of Melbourne. The PhD scholarship is worth $31,200 p.a. and is available for three and half years.

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a chronic musculoskeletal condition that has many associated risk factors with one of them being obesity. Many studies have reported that obese patients with OA are more likely to experience worse clinical symptoms, including pain, compared to those who are lean. CCL17 has been recently identified (Achuthan et al., JCI, 2016) as a novel downstream inflammatory mediator of granulocyte macrophage-colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF). It is important for the development of osteoarthritic pain and disease (Lee et al., Arthritis Research & Therapy, 2018; Lee et al., Osteoarthritis and Cartilage, 2020). While these studies highlight the importance of CCL17 in OA, the regulation of CCL17 expression and its functional role(s) in obesity-associated OA largely remains unknown. This PhD project will explore the regulation and function of CCL17 by utilizing preclinical models of OA and obesity, immunological/biochemical assays and OA patient samples.

Find out more about the project here.

Required qualifications:

  • Successful completion of an Honours/Masters degree with a minimum weighted average of 80% or equivalent.
  • Experience in working with animal models with basic histology and immunohistochemical skills.

Desired skills:

  • Experience with flow cytometry and any relevant analytical software
  • Experience in molecular and immunological assays, such as qPCR, ELISA and Western blotting
  • Experience in primary cell culture


  • Apply by emailing a two-page CV and academic transcript by 23rd of October 2020 to Dr Adrian Achuthan
  • If an applicant is successful in getting a Graduate Research Scholarship at the University of Melbourne, a top-up scholarship with additional support for attending national/international conferences will be provided.

More Information

Dr Adrian Achuthan