An Evaluation of the Immune Response to Devil Facial Tumour Disease
The Tasmanian Devil (Sarcophilus harrisii) is a carnivorous marsupial endemic to the island state of Tasmania, and is found all over the state. Tasmanian devils are now at risk of extinction due to a disfiguring infectious tumour, devil facial tumour disease (DFTD). This is a unique disease as it an infectious cancer and avoids detection by the immune system. This is most likely due to a combination of lack of genetic diversity among the devil population resulting in an inability of the devil’s immune system to recognise DFTD as a “foreign tissue graft”. The Menzies Research Institute leads research into studies of the immune system of the Tasmanian devil. In order to develop strategies such as a vaccine it is important to understand the interaction of DFTD with the immune system. A range of projects is available to understand the interaction of the devil’s immune system with DFTD and how to induce immunity to this disease.
The Save the Tasmanian Devil Program is the largest conservation program currently under way in Australia, and its research and management programs are significant world-class collaborations between the Tasmanian Government, the University of Tasmania and other leading research institutions.
Project grants and scholarships are funded from donations received through the Save the Tasmanian Devil Appeal via the Tasmanian Devil Research Advisory Committee, to support research and management programs that meet the key priority areas of the Save the Tasmanian Devil Program.
The Tasmanian Devil Elite Research Scholarship This scholarship may be awarded to top up an Australian Postgraduate Award (APA) level or equivalent award to the value of $7,500 per annum for up to 3½ years with an additional discretionary contribution towards research costs.
Applications for the Tasmanian Devil Elite Research Scholarship must be completed by following the links and applications procedures provided at ‘Grant and Scholarships’ at www.tassiedevil.com.au
Applicants are also required to complete the Application for Admission and Scholarship for Higher Degree Research Candidature (How to Apply) and indicate in Section 9 Scholarship Support, that you wish to be considered for Tasmanian Devil Elite Research Scholarship.
|Contact:||Associate Professor Greg Woods