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Research Laboratory Scientist - Immunocompromised Host

LocationThe Alfred
Work TypeFull Time - Fixed Term
Positions1 Position
Job no: 69169
Category: Research, Other Research
  • 5 weeks of annual leave + 13 additional days off (ADO's) per year
  • Salary Packaging and novated leasing are available via Maxxia to maximise take-home salary
  • Located at The Alfred

Alfred Health

Alfred Health is a leader in health care delivery, improvement, research and education. We are the main provider of health services to people living in the inner southeast suburbs of Melbourne, from ambulatory to inpatient and home and community-based services.


Research Laboratory Scientist - Immunocompromised Host

Department of Infectious Diseases

  • Fixed Term - ending 31 Dec 2024
  • Full Time at 76 hrs per f/n
  • Grade 1 Medical Scientist (Yr1-Yr7) (RX1-RX7)
  • Alfred Location
  • Great Staff Benefits!


The Department of Infectious Diseases has a range of clinical and laboratory research interests that need support from a laboratory scientist. 

Position Summary

The position will be expected to perform research duties working closely with Prof Orla Morrissey on her laboratory-based research on infections in the immunocompromised hosts. One area of current research interest is unravelling the reasons as to why invasive aspergillosis occurs in some lung transplant recipients and it doesn’t in others. Lung transplantation is a life-saving procedure for end-stage lung disease such as emphysema, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and cystic fibrosis. Survival post-lung transplantation is shorter than survival following the transplantation of other organs because of higher rates of infection and chronic rejection (known as chronic lung allograft rejection [CLAD]).

Infection by the fungus Aspergillus fumigatus is the one of the most feared of all infections as it is associated with high mortality rates (up to 82%). Approximately 30% of all lung transplant recipients develop A. fumigatus infection. A. fumigatus infection has many manifestations, from asymptomatic infection (also known as colonisation) to deep tissue or invasive infection. A. fumigatus may also result in the development of CLAD. Many different varieties or strains of A. fumigatus exist and these may result in different infection manifestations and the precipitation of CLAD.

The poor long-term survival rates may be due, in part, to our lack of understanding of how A. fumigatus causes the different infection manifestations and triggers CLAD post-lung transplantation. For instance, we do not know -

Why some lung transplant recipients are infected with A. fumigatus and why some are not.
What is the genotypic (i.e. A. fumigatus strain type)/phenotypic (i.e. infection manifestation) relationship?
If particular A. fumigatus strain type plays a role in the development of CLAD
What is the relationship between antifungal therapy response and strain type?
The aim of this research is to provide some answers to these questions by studying a group of lung transplant recipients over the first-year post-lung transplantation.

The position will be involved in a range of laboratory techniques including fungal culture, antifungal susceptibility testing, nucleic acid extraction, PCR and NGS sequencing library preparation, PBMC isolation and storage. You will also undertake whole genome sequencing (WGS)/next generation sequencing (NGS) and data analysis as this is increasingly used in the laboratory to examine variation in Aspergillus isolates. 

Experience and Qualifications Required

  • Science Degree with a strong microbiological focus or an equivalent combination of experience and training
  • Experience working in a microbiology laboratory
  • Microbiology culture techniques, including the preparation of culturing reagents
  • Experience handling biological specimens sampled or derived from humans

Additional experience may be advantageous:

  • Development of new protocols for PCR assays
  • Clinical trial experience / GLCP accreditation

Staff Benefits

  • 5 weeks of annual leave + 13 additional days off (ADO's) per year
  • Salary Packaging and novated leasing are available via Maxxia to maximise take-home salary
  • Access to health and well-being incentives such as the Fitness Passport and discounted health insurance
  • Onsite staff gym - a payroll deductible expense
  • Onsite childcare services are available (subject to availability)


Enquiries: Prof Orla Morrissey, PH: 9076 2631

Applications close at 11 pm Sunday, 16 June 2024

Alfred Health is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to attracting and retaining a diverse workforce that reflects the community we serve.  Applications from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders are encouraged.

In accordance with the Health Minister's Covid-19 Mandatory Vaccination Order, all Alfred Health employees are required to be fully vaccinated (3 doses) for COVID-19 or hold an acceptable medical exemption. Furthermore, in accordance with the Health Services Amendment (Mandatory Vaccination of Healthcare Workers) Act 2020, health care workers in Category A or B roles (as determined by the department’s risk ratings) are required to be vaccinated against influenza or hold an acceptable medical exemption.