Neuropeptide signaling in blood vessel assembly and maintenance - PhD scholarship


Enrolment status New students, Currently enrolled students
Student type Domestic students, International students
Level of study Higher Degree by Research
Study area Engineering and Computing, Medicine, Science and Mathematics
HDR funding type Living stipend scholarship, Top-up Scholarship, Tuition Scholarship
Scholarship value $28,092 per annum tax free (2020 rate), indexed annually. Students may also be able to access a top-up of $5000 per annum.
Scholarship duration Three years with the possibility of two 6-month extensions in approved circumstances.
Opening date 2 September 2019
Closing date 29 September 2019

Scholarship description

A major function of the endothelial cells (ECs) that line our entire vessel network is to form a barrier between the blood and surrounding tissues. Altered barrier function contributes to a range of pathologies including haemorrhagic stroke and cancer. Adhesion molecules that connect ECs at junctions are of great importance to control vessel barriers. Intercellular engagement by adhesion

molecules is extremely dynamic in space and time, depending on the requirements of the surrounding tissue. Developing capabilities to manipulate vascular adhesion is a major therapeutic goal.

In this project we aim to understand the role of a neuropeptide family that is known to impact on a range of cardio-vascular diseases like hypertension and heart failure. The degree to which these peptides control vascular adhesion in vivo and precise mechanism of action however remain unknown.

Our preliminary data has yet implicated a novel, specific, role for these peptides in the formation of venous vessel beds but not arteries by live analysis of zebrafish mutant models. This is a uniquely specific phenotype that has not been previously identified.

For this PhD project we will use zebrafish mutants and bioengineered human micro-vessels to understand the molecular mechanisms by which these peptides regulate adhesion in functional vasculature with unprecedented resolution.


To be eligible, you must meet the entry requirements for a higher degree by research.

Applications are closed.

Before you apply

If this scholarship has rules, download and read them before applying.

How to apply

To be considered for this scholarship, please email the following documents to Dr AK Lagendijk at

  • Cover letter
  • CV
  • Academic transcript/s
  • Contact details of two academic referees

Please note the following: Submitting the above documents does not constitute a full application for admission into The University of Queensland's PhD program. If you are selected as the preferred applicant, you will then be invited to submit a full application for admission. You can familiarise yourself with the documents required for this process on the Graduate School's website.

Selection criteria

The ideal applicant will have the following:

  • First class Honours or equivalent; and
  • background in cell biology, developmental biology or genetics.
Applications are closed.


Dr Anne Karine Lagendijk
Applications are closed.

Terms and conditions

Read the policy on UQ Research Scholarships.

A domestic part-time student with carer’s responsibilities, a medical condition or a disability, which prevents them from studying full time may be eligible for scholarship consideration, on a case by case basis.

Applications are closed.