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Identification of proteins specific to transmissible Pseudomonas aeruginosa in cystic fibrosis infection


This project will characterize the molecular basis for increased infectivity caused by an epidemic strain of Pseudomonas aeruginosa (AES-1) which infects many patients treated in cystic fibrosis (CF) clinics in eastern Australia.


Professor Stuart Cordwell.

Research location

School of Life and Environmental Sciences

Program type



It is likely that unique genetic sequences within P. aeruginosa AES-1 are expressed and contribute to increased infectivity and virulence, specifically in the CF lung microenvironment and that the expression of these proteins under altered environmental and physiological conditions can be detected using proteomics when compared to less virulent and virulent, non-CF P. aeruginosa. The aims of this project are to identify P. aeruginosa AES-1-specific:

  1. Proteins and pathways by comparing membrane-associated, cytoplasmic and secreted proteins from P. aeruginosa AES-1R, Manchester Epidemic (CF) Strain (MA), PA14 and PAO1 grown in nutrient rich and minimal media, medium mimicking the lung in CF and biofilms;
  2. Infectivity and virulence determinants by examining P. aeruginosa AES-1R, MA, PAO1 and PA14 protein and virulence profiles during adaptation to nutrient rich medium.
Investigations will be carried out using complementary proteomics and phenotypic assays that will provide both data acquisition and validation. Identification of P. aeruginosa AES-1R-specific proteins will aid in determining novel protein targets suitable for therapeutic intervention and infection control.

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 64

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