Red X iconGreen tick iconYellow tick icon
A postgraduate research opportunity at the University of Otago.


Close date
No date set
Academic background
Health Sciences
Host campus
Medicine (Christchurch)
Dr Sarah Appleby, Dr Rachel Purcell, Associate Professor John Pearson, Professor Chris Pemberton


An excellent PhD candidate ('A' grades) interested in researching circulating bacterial DNA as a prognostic marker for myocardial infarction is being recruited to join the Christchurch Heart Institute (CHI), University of Otago, Christchurch.

The CHI is a multidisciplinary team that employs 35–40 experts in cardiology, genetics, biochemistry and physiology. It is the only integrated 'bench to bedside to community' cardiovascular research group in New Zealand.

The goal of the project is to investigate circulating bacterial DNA as a putative prognostic biomarker for myocardial infarction. Our project will use cutting-edge DNA sequencing technology to identify DNA from gut bacteria in the blood of patients that have had a heart attack and determine whether they predict or contribute to adverse cardiovascular outcomes.

The candidate will master and use a wide range of molecular biology and genomic techniques. The project is a collaboration between the Department of Medicine, Surgery and Pathology (Christchurch). The PhD will be carried out in the Department of Medicine CHI Research Group at the Christchurch Campus.

Highly motivated individuals with a BBiomedSc (Hons), or BSc (Hons) or MSc in Molecular Biology, Microbiology, Biochemistry, Bioinformatics, or a related discipline are encouraged to apply. The ideal candidates will have practical knowledge in molecular biology and in genomic analysis. Excellent communication skills, willingness to work in a team and the ability to plan and interpret experiments in an independent manner are important attributes.

Applicants must be eligible for admission to the PhD programme at the University of Otago.

It is expected the project will start early in 2022 or when filled.

Funding notes

Whether you are a domestic or an international student, the University of Otago has a range of Doctoral Scholarships available to you.

If you are a straight A student (GPA of 8 - 'A' grade) or higher, who has completed an Honours or Master's degree with an appropriate research component from a New Zealand university then you are likely to be guaranteed a University of Otago Doctoral Scholarship.

University of Otago Doctoral Scholarship
Other scholarship opportunities


In the first instance, applicants should contact Dr Sarah Appleby by email to discuss a project. Further information may be sought from suitable candidates that will include:


Sarah Appleby

Useful information

Similar research opportunities

Back to top