Postgraduate Research Opportunities

Honours, Masters and PhD candidates

The Genomics Research Centre (GRC) is located within the Faculty of Health, QUT Kelvin Grove campus under the direction of Professor Lyn Griffiths.

Researchers within the GRC investigate the genetic and environmental factors involved in common chronic human disorders, with a focus on understanding complex genetic pathways of common disorders and the development and application of improved diagnostics.

The network of researchers, industry professionals and international collaborators at QUT provides students with the the ideal infrastructure for undertaking postgraduate research and progressing into a career in science. If you are considering doing an Honours, Masters or PhD research project, please see the below topics for your consideration.

For further information, please contact Professor Lyn Griffiths.

Postgraduate study topics

Molecular and Gene Expression Studies of Migraine and Genetic Diagnostics

Migraine is a common complex genetic disease affecting ~12% of the Australian population. We undertake studies aimed at identifying the genes involved in the disorder. Projects include association, next generation sequencing and linkage approaches, the investigation  of gene expression differences using array and real-time PCR analyses aimed at developing diagnostic tests and new treatments for this common debilitating disorder.

Further Information:

2019_GRC_Molecular and Gene Expression Studies of Migraine

Key contact: Lyn Griffiths

Bioinformatics and Biostatistical Analysis of Genetic and Clinical Data


Bioinformatics involves the management and analysis of BIG data sets using advanced computing tools and techniques along with statistical modelling.  Our main focus is on the unique Norfolk Island population from which we have multiple layers of genomic information including; genome-wide SNP, CNV, STR data, methylation and expression data. We integrate multi-layered data sets to understand the systems biology of complex disease traits in Norfolk Island and the wider community.

Further Information:

2019_GRC_Bioinformatics and Biostatistical Analysis of Genetic and Clinical Data

Key contact: Rod Lea


Epigenetic modifications affect how DNA is packaged and expressed, and include histone modifications (acetylation and methylation), histone variants, microRNAs and DNA methylation at CpG dinucleotides or CpNpGs. Current research in the GRC examines DNA methylation in complex disorders such as cardiovascular disease, obesity and migraine. Identifying epigenetic factors may point to novel treatments or interventions, or provide potential new drug targets for these conditions.

Key contacts: Heidi Sutherland and Rod Lea

Human Stem Cells and Neurogenesis

Human mesenchymal and neural stem cells (hMSCs and NSCs) are used as models to examine the structure and conformation of the extracellular matrix within the niche and the bidirectional flow of information to identify factors controlling neural lineage specification.  The heparan and chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans (HS and CSPGs) are widely present in the central nervous system and our ability to exploit these interactions may provide useful tools for mediating human stem cell proliferation and lineage fate.

Further Information:

2019_GRC_Neural stem cells and understanding neurological disorders

Key contact: Larisa Haupt

Susceptibility Genes

Topics include: multiple sclerosis, skin cancer, breast cancer, lymphoma, the genetics of endurance, the genetics of memory. We investigate genes that predispose individuals to developing complex disorders using our unique population resources, and undertake cell culture based projects utilising cancer cells to examine gene expression and protein interactions.

Key contacts: Larisa Haupt and Robert Smith