Drug Discovery Biology - Doctoral Program

Research within Drug Discovery Biology (DDB) adopts multidisciplinary approaches to understand drug targets in biomedicine and disease and how such knowledge informs drug discovery. We offers a wide range of opportunities for translational research in the following broad disease areas:

  1. Neuropsychiatric disease;
  2. Inflammation;
  3. Metabolic and endocrine disorders;
  4. Cardiovascular disease;
  5. Cancer.

A major focus of DDB is research on G protein coupled receptors that are the largest group of drug targets comprising more than 40% of medicines currently in use. Our approach seeks to understand G protein coupled receptor and ion channel function at the molecular level, the cellular level and in whole  organisms. We are a world leader in the study of novel paradigms affecting receptor activity, in particular: allosteric modulation, biased agonism, receptor trafficking, and compartment-dependent signalling. We aim to understand how these mechanisms impact receptor function, and how they can be exploited  for drug discovery.

Lab rotation

DDB offers an elite program in a world class scientific environment to ensure our graduates are not only specialists in their chosen scientific field, but also have an understanding of diverse topics, techniques and practices relevant to drug discovery. Within the DDB doctoral program all students complete  three independent lab rotations (6-week duration) in year one prior to final project and thesis supervisor selection. Rotations will expose students to different research areas and techniques as well as lab dynamics to better inform thesis project and supervisor selection. Rotations will also foster  cross-disciplinary research between different research areas within DDB.  Learn more about the laboratories and research areas within DDB.

During year one, DDB students will complete all coursework requirements for the Advanced Course in Drug Discovery and Development, allowing students three uninterrupted years to complete their thesis project. Guidance on selection of rotations and final thesis project/supervisor(s) will be provided  by an independent academic mentor.

Enhanced research experiences

At the completion of year 1, students enrolled within the DDB doctoral program are eligible to transfer to the joint PhD program with University of Nottingham: 3473 The Joint Award PhD and Doctoral Training Centre in Molecular Pharmacology with The University of NottinghamTransfer into the joint award program is dependent upon pre-existing collaborative projects with Monash. Thus, selection of thesis project and supervisor will dictate whether or not a student can transfer into a joint program. Students enrolled within the joint Nottingham-Monash PhD program will  spend 12 months at the University of Nottingham during years 2-4. An optional 8-week industry placement will also be offered during the period of thesis examination.