PhD opportunity – Virulence factors in rabbit calicivirus infections

This project would suit a student with interest and a strong background in molecular virology, cell culture and/or immunology

Project description:
The rabbit haemorrhagic disease virus (RHDV) is a highly virulent calicivirus that kills over 90% of susceptible rabbits within 72 hrs post infection.

We recently found that the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase of RHDV has some unexpected characteristics, such as the unusually high temperature optimum of 40–45°C and the ability to redistribute Golgi membranes.

The successful candidate will continue to investigate the functions of the non-structural proteins of RHDV with a focus on potential interactions with the innate and adaptive immune systems.

The successful candidate will be based at CSIRO’s Black Mountain Laboratories (Canberra) and the University of Canberra.

Financial support:
The successful candidate will receive a 3-year scholarship (ca. $26,500 per year, tax-free) with the possibility of further top-ups.

Further reading:
Urakova et al. 2015, Virology 484:69; Urakova et al. 2016, Viruses 8(4): E100; Urakova et al. 2017, Viruses 9(8):202; and Hall et al. 2017, PLoS One 12(3):e0173727.

Contact details:
Dr Michael Frese (; Dr Tanja Strive (; Dr Robyn Hall (