Studying at the CCB
The CCB is an internationally recognised Medical Research Institute, aiming to achieve tangible outcomes for patients with cancer, through its strong links with clinical practice.
A key platform within this goal is to foster high quality postgraduate studies to build the next generation of world-leading cancer researchers. We achieve this through a comprehensive program of mentoring and career development, led by our internationally recognised group leaders. Averaging in excess of $10m in competitive grant funding and publishing more than 150 scientific articles in high impact publications each year, the CCB offers the ideal environment within which the next generation of research leaders can thrive.
Take a look through our Postgraduates Projects booklet (PDF, 2.1MB) to discover the research projects available this year. In most cases other opportunities are also available, so we encourage you to contact the Heads of laboratories to discuss your project ideas.
Read more about each laboratory and learn about our research opportunities.
A range of domestic and international scholarships are available for students wishing to undertake Masters or PhD studies at the CCB.
Both the University of South Australia and the University of Adelaide administer Australian Postgraduate Awards (APA), and offer a limited number of University Postgraduate awards (for Australian students).
Scholarships are available for international students through both Universities.
Externally-funded scholarship opportunities may also be available for some laboratories and projects.
The Universities also provide scholarship opportunities to assist students in specific categories including indigenous students, students who have experienced socio-economic disadvantage, students from rural areas and students with disabilities.
Take a closer look at the scholarships offered by UniSA and Adelaide Uni:
Vacation Research Scholarships
Students currently in second, third or honours year who have a strong academic record are welcome to apply for a Vacation Research Scholarship. These scholarships give students the opportunity to earn $300 a week undertaking research for up to 8 weeks with experienced researchers, usually between November and February.
Information about specific research projects can be found here. Some researchers may be willing to negotiate a different project with a student.
Domestic and international students at the University of South Australia are eligible to apply, as are domestic students from other Universities.
Higher Degrees by Research
“Working in cancer research is a unique experience; I can’t think of many other jobs which offer the same levels of variety and challenge as research does. It’s hard to be bored when you’re constantly learning, especially when you’re learning things no one else knows yet. Though there are many challenges on the way to these new discoveries, every challenge gives you the opportunity to expand your knowledge and skills, and the thrill when you finally succeed and discover something new is only made sweeter by the challenges you had to overcome to get there. After all, the best things in life are never easy.
By completing my PhD, I hope to gain further access to the world of research, and to open up my world along with it. After all, cancer research is conducted right around the globe, and a PhD will give me the opportunity to work at other leading cancer institutes around the world.
My current research at the Centre for Cancer Biology is into the incurable blood cancer multiple myeloma. I’m looking at targeting a particular cell pathway called the sphingolipid pathway in order to enhance existing therapies and resensitise chemotherapy resistant patients to chemotherapy.“
PhD Student - Molecular Signalling Laboratory
MF & MH Joyner Scholarship in Medicine
Each CCB laboratory offers exciting opportunities for research studies at Honours, Masters and PhD level, as well as undergraduate summer student placements
Acute Leukaemia Laboratory
Led by Professor Richard D’Andrea and A/Professor Ian Lewis. The group studies the genetic and epigenetic mechanisms involved in normal blood cell development and the changes associated with acute myeloid leukaemia and other haematological malignancies. New therapies for these diseases are investigated, and tested in clinical trial to ultimately improve patient treatment outcomes.
Cell Signalling Laboratory
Led by A/Professor Yeesim Khew-Goodall. The group’s focus is to understand what turns a benign cancer cell which remains local and treatable to a metastatic cell capable of spreading to multiple organs.
Cytokine Receptor Laboratory
Led by Professor Angel Lopez. The group seeks to understand the mechanism of cytokine receptor activation in health and disease, to support the development of new drugs for unmet clinical needs.
Gastroenterology Research Laboratory
Led by A/Professor Andrew Ruszkiewicz. This group is engaged in research activities spanning aspects of gastroenterology pathology including cancer precursor lesions and malignancies of the colorectum, oesophagus and pancreas.
Gene Regulation Section
Led by Professor Greg Goodall. Research is focused on molecular mechanisms regulating cancer cell metastasis, including mechanisms involving microRNAs, circular RNAs and gene transcription. The Section includes research groups headed by Dr Cameron Bracken, focusing on microRNAs and their targets and Dr Philip Gregory, investigating the regulation of alternative splicing in cancer.
IMCB Visiting Professor Laboratory
Led by Professor Vinay Tergaonkar with A/Prof Simon Conn. The goal of this collaborative effort with Prof Tergaonkar’s laboratory at the Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology (IMCB) in Singapore is to understand the molecular mechanisms that regulate human ailments like cancer, inflammatory diseases like allergy and metabolic syndrome and the interplay between these.
Leukaemia Unit, Molecular and Genetic Pathology
Led by A/Professor Susan Branford. The Leukaemia Unit investigates the molecular response to therapy of patients with chronic myeloid leukaemia and the mechanisms of drug resistance.
Lung Research Laboratory
Led by Professor Paul Reynolds. The group has a range of projects involving lung cancer, pulmonary vascular disease and airway inflammation, and includes gene and cell therapy strategies and the use of conditionally replicative viruses as cancer therapies.
Lymphatic Development Laboratory
Led by A/Professor Natasha Harvey. The group’s focus is to understand how the growth and development of lymphatic vessels is controlled during embryonic development and in disease states.
Molecular Pathology Research Laboratory
Led by Professor Hamish Scott. The laboratory’s research focus is the identification of disease causing genes and mutations in humans and the study of the molecular pathogenesis of diseases, including familial cancer syndromes and rare genetic diseases.
Molecular Regulation Laboratory
Led by Professor Sharad Kumar. The broad research focus of the laboratory is the cellular and molecular biology of disease. We study how cell death and ubiquitination control cell homeostasis during development and in disease.
Molecular Signalling Laboratory
Led by Professor Stuart Pitson. The laboratory examines sphingolipid-mediated cell signalling pathways and how they contribute to cancer and other diseases.
Neurovascular Research Laboratory
Led by Dr Quenten Schwarz. The research focus of the laboratory is to advance understanding of the molecular development of the neuronal and vascular systems.
Translational Oncology Laboratory
Led by Professor Michael Brown. The laboratory team is focused on the preclinical and clinical development of novel antibody and T-cell-based methods for the diagnosis, monitoring and treatment of cancers, particularly of the skin, lung, and brain.
Tumour Microenvironment Laboratory
Led by Dr Michael Samuel. The laboratory’s current research focus is discovering the molecular toolkit that cancers use to exploit and modify the capabilities of other cells and tissues around them (the microenvironment) to promote their own growth and spread. The laboratory’s aim is to uncover targets for new classes of therapies against cancers that are difficult to treat.
Vascular Biology and Cell Trafficking Laboratory
Led by A/Professor Claudine Bonder. The laboratory’s major focus is to investigate the contribution of the blood vasculature to disease. Examination of how the blood vessels form and are activated during disease progression may provide new treatment options for cancers such as melanoma and breast cancer, organ transplantation to cure diabetes and provide valuable information to overcome allergies.
ACRF Cancer Genomics Facility.
This state-of-the-art Facility is headed by Mr Joel Geoghegan and Dr Andreas Schreiber and provides opportunities to pursue studies in genomic medicine and bioinformatics.