The Spinal Cord Society of Australia is offering two post-doctoral fellowships to young Australian scientists or medical graduates with appropriate research experience. The fellowships will involve participation in an ongoing research programme in the United States of America, where the Spinal Cord Society is funding research targeted at finding a cure for human spinal cord injury (SCI).




Directors : Dr. H. Nornes, Department of Anatomy & Neurobiology, Colorado State

University, Fort Collins, Colorado and Dr. T. Neuman, Neurofunctional Surgery Center,

Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre, UCLA, Los, Angeles, California

The principal focus of this joint research programme is to genetically manipulate injured CNS axons to produce successful axonal regeneration. This is seen as pivotal to achieving functional recovery following spinal cord injury in man. The project aims to identify and then modify genes which are uniquely expressed in corticospinal neurones during their growth phase in tissue culture. The first phase of this project is to develop methods for isolating and maintaining long term cultures of adult corticospinal neurones. This will take place in Dr. Nornes' laboratory in Colorado.

The second phase concentrates on the transcriptional regulators which control axonal growth. Large scale screens will identify expression of inhibitory or stimulatory transcription factors that these can be manipulated to promote robust axonal growth. This part of the project is to take place in Dr. Neuman's laboratory in Los Angeles. An additional project is designed to direct the differentiation of CNS progenitor cells into specific neuronal types for transplantation into the injured spinal cord. This is aimed at replacing lost cells at the injury site.

Candidates for either Fort Collins or Los Angeles post-doctoral positions will need a strong background in tissue culture or molecular biology.


The fellowships will initially extend for up to two years with part or all of the time spent at one of the overseas institutes. It would be a requirement of accepting the fellowships that the research fellows return to Australia to continue active participation in spinal cord research for which additional funds may be made available.

Applications will be assessed by a panel appointed by the Australian Spinal Cord Society. In addition, application material will be forwarded to the directors of the specified programmes. They will have final approval of the applicants.





  1. Applications for a laboratory research Fellowship, or combined research and clinical Fellowship will be initiated by submitting the following in triplicate :-
  2. A covering letter with personal details (including contact information), availability for interview in Melbourne (cost of travel, accommodation etc to be met by applicant), a statement regarding citizenship status, a description of career goals,
  3. Curriculum vitae, including a list of publications and/or abstracts,
  4. Copies of undergraduate and post-graduate transcripts, degrees, citations or honours,
  5. Three (3) strong letters of reference which emphasise the candidate's potential for a career in biomedical research and clinical developments, which should be sent (under separate cover) by the writers of the letters. Two of these three letters of reference should be from the present or former Ph.D. supervisor and should address the applicant's skills. One of these letters should be from the current programme director, and
  6. A proposal of intended research at the nominated centres is required - to be a maximum of six A4 pages, with references included.


Post application to:


Dr. George Owen

P.O. Box 1048





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