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CSIRO Postdoctoral Fellowship in Nose-to-Brain Transmission of Viruses

Date: 27-May-2021

Location: Geelong, VIC, AU

Company: CSIRO

The Opportunity


•    Are you a motivated, early career scientist with interest in Neurobiology?
•    Help devise new strategies for protection of neurological health in infection and disease
•    Work at the Australian Centre for Disease Preparedness (ACDP) in Geelong in this exciting postdoctoral role

CSIRO Early Research Career (CERC) Postdoctoral Fellowships provide opportunities to scientists and engineers who have completed their doctorate and have less than three years of relevant postdoctoral work experience. These fellowships aim to develop the next generation of future leaders of the innovation system. 

CERC Postdoctoral Fellows are appointed for three years or part time equivalent.

The Postdoctoral Fellow will be based at the Australian Centre for Disease Preparedness (ACDP) in Geelong. The project will integrate into and expand on-going research at ACDP to understand neuropathogenesis of viral infections and devise new strategies for protection of neurological health in infection and disease. The successful candidate will contribute capabilities to develop advanced ex-vivo model systems of olfactory neuroepithelium and study novel cellular mechanisms enabling the nose-to-brain transmission of respiratory and neurotropic viruses. The fellow will also explore these model systems to adapt virus-inspired mechanisms to develop potential new tools for nose-to-brain delivery of therapeutic agents. The ex-vivo systems will include human model systems using stem cell technology and primary explant cultures from animals in 2D and 3D using techniques such as microfluidics. The fellow will design and perform experiments in high-containment laboratories to identify the viral mechanisms in these model systems using advanced light microscopy (confocal and electron microscopy) and biochemical, genetic and cell biology methods. 

Your duties will include:


Under the direction of senior research scientists, the research fellow will:

  • Carry out innovative, impactful research of strategic importance to CSIRO that will lead to novel insights into viral pathogenesis of the nervous system.
  • Conduct research investigations requiring originality, creativity, and innovation, specifically to develop models of olfactory neuroepithelium for studies in viral pathogenesis and control.
  • Plan and design relevant studies into the ex vivo development of olfactory models and their utilisation for viral pathogenesis and control, including compiling and submitting documentation for institutional and regulatory approval.
  • Record, manage, and analyse data/information using relevant domain data science techniques.
  • Undertake regular reviews of relevant literature and patents and apply these findings to the research project objectives. 
  • Produce high quality scientific papers suitable for publication in quality journals, for client reports and granting of patents.

Location: Geelong, Victoria
Salary: AU$88k - AU$96k plus up to 15.4% superannuation
Tenure: Specified term of 3 years
Reference: 74421

To be considered you will need:

Essential Criteria:

  • A doctorate (or will shortly satisfy the requirements of a PhD) in a relevant discipline area, such as virology, neurobiology, immunology, cell biology or molecular biology. Please note: To be eligible for this role you must have no more than 3 years (or part-time equivalent) of postdoctoral research experience.
  • Experience in advanced cell culture techniques such as generation of organoids, primary cell cultures, microfluidic cell culture systems and stem cell-derived model systems.
  • The ability to work effectively as part of a multi-disciplinary research team, plus the motivation and discipline to carry out autonomous research.
  • High level written and oral communication skills with the ability to represent the research team effectively internally and externally, including the presentation of research outcomes at national and international conferences.

Desirable Criteria:

  • Demonstrated experience in neuroscience research, in particular identifying novel neurobiological mechanisms associated with development, function and degeneration of nervous systems.
  • Experience in biochemical and cell biological methods, including molecular cloning and gene editing techniques
  • Skills in virology techniques.
  • Experience in confocal microscopy methods, including fluorescently labelled protein analysis, live-cell imaging and advanced brain tissue imaging.
  • Knowledge in analysis of drug delivery systems to the brain in animal or cell culture models.

For full details about this role please view the Position Description


The successful applicant will be required to obtain and provide a National Police Check or equivalent. Please note that people with criminal records are not automatically deemed ineligible. Each application will be considered on its merits.

Flexible Working Arrangements

We work flexibly at CSIRO, offering a range of options for how, when and where you work. Talk to us about how this role could be flexible for you. Balance

Diversity and Inclusion

We are working hard to recruit diverse people and ensure that all our people feel supported to do their best work and feel empowered to let their ideas flourish. Diversity and Inclusion Strategy


We are committed to the safety and wellbeing of all children and young people.


At CSIRO, Australia's national science agency, we solve the greatest challenges through innovative science and technology.


Join us and start creating tomorrow today!

How to Apply

Please apply on-line and provide a cover letter and CV that best demonstrate your motivation and ability to meet the requirements of this role.

Applications Close

27 June 2021, 11:00pm AEST