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EMBL Australia, learning, growing, networking
Dear <<First Name>>

It has been seven short years since Australia first joined EMBL as the first associate member and I am thrilled to report that we have had many successes.  We have continued to grow and expand, primarily by providing young scientists with up to nine years of secure funding and a wonderful platform from which they can explore and connect to an extraordinary global network, The flagship research program offered by EMBL Australia continues to attract high calibre scientists, both locally and from overseas, and it has been very rewarding to watch them grow, expand their groups, networks and collaborations and make the most of what is a truly extraordinary opportunity.  

I am delighted to announce that we have recently concluded recruitment for the Group Leader positions for 2015.  The South Australia node has just wrapped up their third Group Leader position interviews.  The NSW node at the UNSW has also just concluded their recruitment for a new Group Leader position. The Victorian node will be welcoming two new Group Leaders in the next six months, one of which is Chen Davidovich (see news article below). We hope to announce the rest of the successful applicants soon, so stay tuned.

As well as supporting science research leaders, EMBL Australia has also developed programs to support its students with training, grants and internships.  As you all know I am, and continue to be, passionate about our students and the opportunities presented to them to develop their skills.  Today we are announcing a new International PhD pilot program being launched in partnership with the UNSW. Together we will be offering up to five fully funded PhD scholarships at the UNSW. I am sure this will attract another group of inspiring students that will join us here at EMBL Australia and I look forward to meeting each one of them.

Warm regards,
Professor Nadia Rosenthal
Scientific Head, EMBL Australia
Please note that all replies to this newsletter go to If you wish to email me directly, my address is 

In this month's newsletter:

Call for Applicants for new EMBL Australia International PhD Program (applications close 16 September for Australian citizens and residents, and 24 August for international students)

EMBL Australia together with the University of New South Wales are pleased to introduce the EMBL Australia International PhD program.  Up to five fully funded PhD scholarships of AUD$30,000 per annum are being offered to the successful applicants. The scholarships include travel grants and participation fees for EMBL courses and symposia.

Projects in the following areas are available:
  • Cell signalling
  • Cellular organisation and dynamics (cytoskeleton, membranes, intracellular trafficking, nucleus)
  • Optical imaging and image analysis
  • Macromolecular complexes and interaction networks
  • Physics and biophysics
  • Biosensors
Applicants need to apply to both EMBL Australia (

and UNSW  ( 

All shortlisted applicant will be required to attend an interview in person at UNSW between 4-6 November 2015 (all transport and accommodation costs covered). Successful applicants are expected to commence their PhD in March 2016.

For more information please contact:

EMBL Australia: Jane McCausland:
UNSW Graduate Research School:
Single Molecule Science: Prof Katharina Gaus:

$400 Million in funding over 4 years as the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) passes in the Australian Senate

On 12 August, the Australian Senate passed new legislation for the MRFF.  The MRFF is expected to deliver more than $400 million in funding to researchers over the next four years, building to $1 billion per year within the decade and will be one of the largest medical research funds in the world when it reaches its peak.

This is all good news not only to medical researchers, but also to all Australians.  The passing of the MRFF has delivered new confidence and hope to the health and medical research sector. It has the potential to generate and support new, more ambitious innovation, attract further investment from the pharmaceutical and biotechnology sector, improve the quality of life for those who are suffering from serious diseases and conditions, create more jobs for medical researchers in Australia and help us to attract international talent to our laboratories.

This fund is additional to the funding allocation of the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHRMC) and couldn’t come at a more welcome time as we celebrate National Science Week in Australia  (15-23 August).

New EMBL Australia Group Leader - Dr Chen Davidovich joins EMBL Australia (Monash University) 

A headshot of Dr Chen DavidovichDr Chen Davidovich will be taking up the post of Group Leader at the Victorian node of EMBL Australia at Monash University and arrives in Australia next month.  Chen is originally from Israel but is coming to us from the University of Colorado and Howard Hughes Medical Institute.  Chen’s ongoing research has been in the study of the recruitment of chromatin remodelling factors by long non-coding RNAs for epigenetic regulation.  Chen has been combining approaches of structural biology, molecular biology, bioinformatics and biochemistry. Chen will continue to work on these areas, focusing on the mechanism and structural basis of Polycomb-mediated epigenetic regulation in development and cancer.  Chen hopes to further uncover the mechanism for depression; transcription reactivation of epigenetically repressed genes.  We would like to congratulate Chen on his new appointment and extend a warm welcome to him and his group to EMBL Australia. 

Monash University

Highlights from EMBL Australia Bioinformatics Resource workshops held so far this year

The Bioinformatics Resource has hosted a range of workshops in 2015, all aimed at getting users to access the NeCTAR-funded Genomics Virtual Laboratory. The GVL offers important software infrastructure  for open, accessible, reproducible science which is used across Australia for training and analysis, and has also been successfully deployed in cloud environments also. On a recent visit to Europe, there was a great deal of interest in it as both a training and research tool as nothing exists to match it elsewhere in the world. 

Following a successful Australian Galaxy Developers Workshop at the University of Sydney run by VLSCI senior scientists, Simon Gladman and Nuwan Goonasekera, a follow up session was held at the University of Melbourne in June, with another VLSCI bioinformatician, Clare Sloggett joining the team. These workshops together have attracted over 40 people from 10 different organisations including: Intersect, Monash University, NeCTAR, University of Sydney, Macquarie University, La Trobe University, Peter MacCallum Centre for Cancer Research, Melbourne, Bio21 Insitute, University of Queensland and CSIRO staff from Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne. 

Ross Lazarus, Baker IDI and Andrew Lonie, Bioinformatics Resource/VLSCI ran a hands-on workshop on variant detection for the Royal Australian College of Pathologists at the Manly Quarantine Station in Sydney on 22 June. Over 50 pathologists attended, all aware that they need to keep abreast of the fast-moving technological developments in their field. 

For further information contact Andrew Lonie,

BioInfoSummer – 2015 (7-10 December) University of Sydney 

Need to catch up on the latest bioinformatics techniques and approaches – feeling a little out of the loop? BioInfoSummer provides bioinformatics training to students, researchers and others working in related areas and is a fantastic fast-track program that is full of information and opportunity.  National and International speakers will be speaking at this year’s BioInfoSummer.  To see who is speaking visit  Speakers are listed as they are confirmed so visit regularly for updates as they come to hand.  
This year, the BioInfoSummer event will include both specialist lectures and hands on introductory and advanced computer workshops.  The topics being discussed this year include:
  • Introduction to Biology and Bioinformatics
  • Epigenomics
  • Translational Genomics
  • Proteomics and Metabolomics
  • Systems Biology, Networks and Data Integration
Early bird registration closes 1 October, 2015.

Poster abstract submissions close: 6 November, 2015

Registration closes: 27 November 2015

If you are a student living outside of Sydney you could be eligible for up to $500 in travel support being offered by The Australian Bioinformatics Network, EMBL Australia, Bioplatforms Australia and CSIRO. Travel grants open, 20 August.

Join the conversation on social media.

Facebook: Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute – Carlton VIC

Twitter: AMSI (@DiscoverAMSI)

Reminder - ABACBS Conference 2015, Garvan Institute of Medical Research, Sydney NSW (10-11 October 2015)

The closing date for submission of abstracts for the Australian Bioinformatics and Computational Biology Association (ABACBS) Conference is 14 August.

For more information:

Reminder - 17th EMBL (Heidelberg) PhD Symposium (22-24 October 2015) abstract submission closing soon

Abstract submission deadline for the 17th EMBL PhD symposium is 21 August.

For more information about the symposium and symposium program please visit:

Travel grants and early bird discounts available for the 2nd EMBL Australia Student Symposium, Bio21 Institute, Melbourne (25-27 November, 2015)

This year’s student symposium theme is “Completing the Pipeline: From Biology to Bioinformatics and Back Again”. Organised by last year’s EMBL Australia PhD course students, it is open to all PhD students from all disciplines.  Early bird discounts close on 31 August.  All Honours, Masters and PhD students are welcome.

There are several general $300 travel grants generously made available by the key sponsors of the symposium. If you wish to apply see the website for further information.  There is also a travel grant sponsored by the Harry Perkins Institute to support a student attending from Western Australia.  Applications close 31 August. 

A draft program is available on the website.

For those of you with social media profiles, you can contribute to the conversation by using the hashtag #EAPS15 and following on Twitter and Facebook.

twitter: @EMBLAuSymposium

facebook: Aphdsymposium

Internships still available for MSc or PhD students at Merrimack Pharmaceuticals 

Merrimack Pharmaceuticals is offering a variety of internships, which are open to EMBL Australia students/staff. Further information can be found on:

If you are interested in joining the Merrimack internship program contact

The Social Science joins EMBL Australia 

The Social Science has joined the EMBL Australia network to manage EMBL Australia’s social media and monthly newsletters. The Social Science is always seeking information to share among the EMBL Australia Nodes and among the science community more broadly. Information regarding upcoming events, visiting scientists, significant publications, presentations at conferences (can be posters or talks) and photographs would be appreciated so that we can help share the news. Suggestions on topics of interest are also welcomed.

Please contact:

Michelle Gallaher (Creative Director), 0417 784 856
Dr Violeta Traicevski (Science/Medical Writer), 0419 117 006

Jobs with EMBL Australia

The Systems Biology Institute (SBI) Australia is seeking a Director, a self-motivated internationally recognised academic in systems biology. This is a new position leading the newly formed SBI Australia, the first international node of SBI Japan and an EMBL Australia initiative.

For all vacant positions see:

About EMBL Australia

EMBL - the European Molecular Biology Laboratory - is Europe's flagship for the life sciences. The Australian government joined EMBL as an Associate Member in 2008.

EMBL Australia is an unincorporated joint venture between members of the Group of Eight universities and the CSIRO, supported by the Australian government.

Read more about EMBL Australia
Copyright © 2015 EMBL Australia, All rights reserved.

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