PhD Studentships in Bioprocessing Engineering

Aug 10, 2018
Oct 01, 2018
Organization Type
University and College
Full Time
The Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology

The University of Queensland's Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (AIBN) is a dynamic multi-disciplinary research institute dedicated to developing technology to alleviate societal problems in the areas of health, energy, manufacturing and environmental sustainability. AIBN brings together the skills of more than 450 world-class researchers complimented by an extensive suite of integrated facilities, working at the intersection of biology, chemistry, engineering and computer modelling. With a reputation for delivering translational science, AIBN conducts research at the forefront of emerging technologies, and has developed strong collaborations with leading members of industry, academia and government. AIBN goes beyond basic research to develop the growth of innovative industries for the benefit of the Queensland and Australian economies. Information about the Institute can be accessed on the Institute's web site at

AIBN is committed to supporting the career growth of female researchers and have a number of initiatives to support females in developing and achieving a fulfilling research career at the institute. For more information, please visit our AIBN Women in Science web site at

The ARC Training Centre for Biopharmaceutical Innovation (CBI), located within the AIBN is enhancing Australia's bio/pharmaceutical capabilities through dedicated research and development programs with leading industrial partners. The Centre conducts research in three thematic areas:  new biopharmaceutical and diagnostic agent discovery; development of mammalian cells as factories for recombinant protein production; and advanced manufacturing of biopharmaceuticals. The CBI is supported by industry partners CSL Limited, GE Healthcare, the Australian Red Cross Blood Service (ARCBS) and Patheon Biologics Australia Pty Ltd.

As a condition of the ARC Industrial Transformation Training Centre funding scheme, students will spend periods of time at Patheon Biologics Ltd based in Brisbane and also Patheon at Princeton, New Jersey USA, that total at least 12 months over a four year period. 


The project: Examining metabolic demands for continuous bioprocessing - omics data

This project will be offered in collaboration with CBI partner Patheon Biologics Ltd. 

The increasing demand for recombinant therapeutic proteins highlights the need to constantly improve the efficiency and yield of these biopharmaceutical products from mammalian cells, which is fully achievable only through proper understanding of cellular functioning. Towards this end, the current study exploited a combined metabolomics and in silico modelling approach to gain a deeper insight into the cellular mechanisms of Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) for high density cultures.

The Patheon process for high density cell culture (Patheon XD® Upstream Processing (USP) technology) can result in up to a 25 fold increase in bioreactor output (cell density). The proprietary Patheon XD® USP bioprocess may be further improved, if a systems biology driven understanding of the fermentation process is achieved. Understanding of the byproducts and metabolites produced, that favour high density will be used to generate an optimised bioprocesses.



  • Development of a pipeline for multiomics integration for optimised bioprocess for CHO cell line(s) for high density cell culture.
  • Utilising a systems biology approach, with particular emphasis in developing tools for proteomics integration into a genome scale model, the candidate will find gene targets for enhanced cell line development.
  • Evaluate performance of cell lines utilising Patheon XD® USP systems.
  • The successful candidate will receive systematic training in bioprocess & operation for mammalian cell line engineering for production of recombinant protein biopharmaceuticals and in high throughput analytical chemistry for proteomics, metabolomics and the use of a genome scale model to interpret the data.
  • The successful candidate will receive systematic training in LCMS and small to large scale expression and purification of recombinant protein biopharmaceuticals.


The person

  • A PhD is about learning new skills, how to do research, and becoming an independent researcher. We recognise that students will come to us from different backgrounds in order to learn these new skills and we welcome interest from domestic (i.e. Australian and New Zealand) students and international students.
  • Background in bioprocessing is desirable.


Mandatory requirements for international applicants:

  1. 1. Research publications are desirable.  
  2. 2. Excellent academic performance evidenced by a high Grade Point Average (GPA); and
  3. 3. International applicants must meet the University of Queensland's English Language Proficiency (ELP) requirements, detailed at



The base stipend will be at the rate of AUD $27,082 per annum (2018 rate) tax-free for three years with the possibility of a twelve month extension in approved circumstances.



To apply for this scholarship, please use the Apply button below. All applicants must supply the following documents: Cover Letter, detailed resume and complete tertiary academic records (with grades/GPA scores, and official grading scale details)'.



To discuss this role please contact Dr Esteban Marcellin via email  


Application closing date

30 September 2018


Important: please do not send your application directly to the email listed in the enquiries section of the advertisement. Applications not received via UQ Jobs online system will not be considered.

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