PhD research | $30,000 p.a. 3 years | closing date 31 July 2018

We are now offering two Mark Grundy Oesophageal Cancer Awareness Group Inc (OCAGI) PhD scholarships in oesophageal cancer research. We are seeking highly motivated individuals to work at the School of Medicine, Western Sydney University.

About the projects

The first project involves developing and optimising a breath test analyser that can detect oesophageal microbiome and metabolites associated with oesophageal adenocarcinoma. This builds upon the work that has been done previously with our current PhD student which involves mapping the oesophageal microbiome in healthy and diseased patients (Barrett’s oesophagus and oesophageal cancer). Akin to how helicobacter pylori presence can be detected on a urea breath test analyser, we will be determining the species of bacteria associated with high risk oesophageal conditions (Barrett’s oesophagus and oesophageal cancer) and how their presence can be detected on breath testing analysis.
Oesophagectomy is the surgical removal of all or part of the oesophagus and replacement with another organ (usually the stomach). This major operation is commonly performed for oesophageal cancers. Oesophagectomy utilising a gastric conduit involves the removal of the lower oesophageal sphincter and is frequently followed by reflux in 60-80% patients. Symptoms can be severe and impact considerably upon the quality of life.
We are interested in combining cutting-edge 3D oesophageal imaging with implant-grade silicon printing technology to create 3D models of the lower oesophageal sphincter. The 3D-high resolution manometry utilises closely spaced solid-state sensors that provides radial pressure characteristics to generate a 3D map of the distal oesophagus. Coupled with 3D silicone printing technology, allows for the creation of accurate 3D lower oesophageal sphincter implants for post-oesophagectomy patients.


  • Domestic candidates will receive a tax-free stipend of $30,000 per annum for up to 3 years to support living costs, supported by the Research Training Program (RTP) Fees Offset.
  • International candidates will receive a tax-free stipend of $30,000 per annum for up to 3 years to support living costs. Those with a strong track record may be eligible for a tuition fee waiver.
  • Support for conference attendance, fieldwork and additional costs as approved by the School.


  • Hold qualifications and experience equal to one of the following (i) an Australian First Class Bachelor (Honours) degree, (ii) coursework Masters with at least 25% research component, (iii) Research Masters degree, or (iv) equivalent overseas qualifications.
  • Possess excellent communication skills and ability to engage with patients, health professionals, and researchers.
  • Be enthusiastic and highly motivated to undertake further study at an advanced level.

More information

Contact Dr Jerry Zhou

Email |

For more information visit Western Sydney University Postgraduate Scholarships

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