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Genetics of Healthy Ageing


By exploiting the vast genetic landscape of an outbred mouse population we aim to explore the molecular cause of a range of diseases that limit healthy ageing in humans. This includes cardiovascular disease, bone function, diabetes, liver disease and insulin resistance. All of these disorders occur in these mice with different frequencies and are thus amenable to genetic mapping.


Professor David James.

Research location

School of Life and Environmental Sciences

Program type



Healthy aging is determined by a complex interaction between our genetics and the environment in which we live. What this means in real terms is that genes provide a risk of developing a particular disease but this risk is markedly increased depending upon what food we eat, whether we exercise or how we sleep and so forth. If we are to understand the aging process it is critical that we begin to decipher this complex interaction between genetics and environment. This is very difficult to achieve in humans largely because of the challenge in both quantifying and controlling the environment. To overcome this challenge we have designed a very exciting approach employing a highly unique mouse population that mirrors the genetic diversity found in the human population. By exposing these individuals to unique environments and studying health outcomes we endeavour to navigate the gene X environment landscape that underpins the aging process. This information will expand our understanding of aging and provide new therapeutic options for improving healthy aging.

Additional information

HDR Inherent Requirements

In addition to the academic requirements set out in the Science Postgraduate Handbook, you may be required to satisfy a number of inherent requirements to complete this degree. Example of inherent requirement may include:

- Confidential disclosure and registration of a disability that may hinder your performance in your degree;
- Confidential disclosure of a pre-existing or current medical condition that may hinder your performance in your degree (e.g. heart disease, pace-maker, significant immune suppression, diabetes, vertigo, etc.);
- Ability to perform independently and/or with minimal supervision;
- Ability to undertake certain physical tasks (e.g. heavy lifting);
- Ability to undertake observatory, sensory and communication tasks;
- Ability to spend time at remote sites (e.g. One Tree Island, Narrabri and Camden);
- Ability to work in confined spaces or at heights;
- Ability to operate heavy machinery (e.g. farming equipment);
- Hold or acquire an Australian driver’s licence;
- Hold a current scuba diving license;
- Hold a current Working with Children Check;
- Meet initial and ongoing immunisation requirements (e.g. Q-Fever, Vaccinia virus, Hepatitis, etc.)

You must consult with your nominated supervisor regarding any identified inherent requirements before completing your application.

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Opportunity ID

The opportunity ID for this research opportunity is 2871

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