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Biophotonics Postgraduate Projects at CMP

Below you will find a list of potential projects available in CMP's biophotonics research program. Students are encouraged to discuss with supervisors other projects that could be relevant to the Centre's research interests. Full project descriptions and information can be found by clicking the 'More Information' links.

Cell Biophysics (CBP)

Multidimensional microscopy and cell signalling.
Supervisor: Assoc. Prof. Andrew Clayton (
The functioning of living cells is largely under the control of a series of molecule-molecule interactions called signalling networks. Individual protein molecules can be tagged and by means of fluorescence we can image their location and movement inside cells. We wish to extend this to measure multiple molecules and interactions. . More Information
Imaging the mechanism of cytolytic peptides in living cells.
Supervisor: Assoc. Prof. Andrew Clayton (
Cytolytic peptides have antimicrobial properties but their mechanism of action is not clear. By means of fluorescence imaging we plan to visualise the interaction of peptides with bacteria and determine the mechanism of cell killing. More Information

Optical Nanomaterial Spectroscopy (ONSPA)

Aggregation and Uptake Kinetics of Gold Nanoparticles in Biological Cells, Using Image Correlation Spectroscopy
Supervisor: Assoc. Prof. James Chon (
The aim of this project is to test a new technique called high order ICS (HICS) to quantify the uptake and aggregation of AuNPs inside HeLa cells. We propose to use HICS together with plasmon coupling to overcome the previous limitations and provides microscopic and macroscopic information of nanoparticle interactions within a cellular environment. More Information

Cell Biology laboratory (CB)

New microscopic tools for cancer research
Supervisor: Prof Sarah Russell (
The elucidation of biological signaling pathways for diverse processes such as cancer and immunity has recently been revolutionised by multidimensional fluorescence microscopy. Current technology measures either static images of interaction or single point measurement of motion. What is needed is a capability to image, in three dimensions, motion and interaction. The aim of this project will be to build on our expertise in RICS with FRET to develop new methods of imaging motion and interaction. More Information
Cell biology
Supervisor: Prof Sarah Russell (, Prof Min Gu and Dr Daniel Day
Current research in the Cell Biology Lab at CMP include the application of super-resolution microscopy, automated image analysis and microfabrication to understanding the regulation of cell polarity, and the role of cell polarity in cell fate decisions important to immunity and cancer. The projects all build upon well established connections between the CMP and the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre. More Information

Nanotrapping and Super-Resolution (NAS)

Optical nanometry
Supervisor: Associate Prof Xiaosong Gan ( and Prof Min Gu
In this project, the candidate is expected to build and characterize a novel optical nanometry system, which is not only capable of measuring ultraweak force, but also can be used to measure ultraweak torque. This project will make significant contribution to the fields of optical trapping, single molecule dynamics and in a more general sense to cutting-edge nanotechnology. More Information