New PhD & postdoctoral opportunities at the Auckland Bioengieering Institute

Work with Dr Jichao Zhao to develop models and understand atrial fibrillation

Atrial fibrillation (AF), characterized by rapid or irregular electrical activity in the upper chambers of the heart, is the most common heart rhythm disturbance. AF is associated with substantial morbidity and mortality. Anti-arrhythmic drug therapy is a frontline treatment for AF by targeting specific ionic channels with variable success rates due to our incomplete understanding of the basic mechanisms of atrial cellular behaviours in patients under normal and diseased conditions.

Computer activation models provide a powerful framework for investigating exact mechanisms behind AF and testing effectiveness of proposed novel treatment strategies by providing a flexible way to dissect highly intertwined contributing factors and set up series of control studies.

The potential projects for one Postdoc and couple of PhD students are

  • To develop biophysics-based human atrial cellular models to understand the pathophysiology of AF associated with gene mutations and to identify a potential effective, targeted treatment;
  • To develop biophysics-based human sino-atrial node (SAN) models to determine the contribution of heart-failure induced structural and molecular substrates to SAN dysfunction, and potential targeted treatment;
  • To develop biophysics-based human atrial cellular models to understand the precise ionic mechanism of new-onset AF under diabetic conditions and to identify a potential upstream therapy.

Requirements: The ideal candidate for the Postdoc position is a recent PhD graduate who has experience in computer modelling and cardiac research. The ideal candidates for the PhD positions will have a Masters' or a Bachelors' degree with Honours (Second Class Honours, Division One or better) in Engineering or Mathematics, and are good at least one computer language (Matlab/C/C++/Fortran). Experience in scientific/numerical computing would be an advantage. The candidate needs to be passionate about research.

Funding: The postdoc and PhD positions are a part of an international collaboration and will be funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Health Research Council (HRC) of New Zealand.

To find out more about this project please contact Dr Jichao Zhao (, Auckland Bioengieering Institute, The University of Auckland, New Zealand.

Further information on the Auckland Bioengieering Institute website

Date: 07/12/2017 | Tag: | News: 705 of 1557
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