Design of Novel Biosensors and Microfluidic Devices for Interrogating the Insulin Signalling Pathway


The aim of this project is to design, engineer and validate novel biosensors that can be used to interrogate the insulin signalling pathway in live cells.


Professor David James

Research Location

School of Life and Environmental Sciences

Program Type



This project will involve molecular design, molecular cloning and live single cell imaging. Multiple approaches will be assessed with the view to designing new sensors targeting kinase activity. The project will be centred around the Ser/Thr kinase Akt with successful methodologies being transferred to other kinases. Akt is a key node in a range of signal transduction cascades which regulate fundamental processes such as cell proliferation and metabolism. Disruption of this control can give rise to a plethora of diseases - for example, Akt is often hyper-activated in cancer. It is of upmost importance to understand how Akt activity is regulated in the cell, to design appropriate therapeutics which can fine-tune Akt activity in disease.

Additional Information

The project will be based at the Charles Perkins Centre. The project will be supported by a range of multidisciplinary scientists and so there is a rich opportunity for training in this exciting area.

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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biosensors, microfluidis, microscopy, single cells, Imaging, image analysis, Signalling, kinases, fluorescent proteins

Opportunity ID

The opportunity ID for this research opportunity is: 2529

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