Skip Ribbon Commands
Australian Government: National Measurement InstituteAustralian Government: National Measurement Institute
National Measurement Institute

Indicative Project

Developing DNA reference material for testing in athletes of doping with several anabolic genes

Background Info

Recently, we developed methods to detect a new form of doping in sport, gene doping, with specific focus on genes that may be used to enhance athletes’ performance in endurance and power sports. Using experience gained recently in preparing DNA reference material (RM) as a necessary component of a test for doping with an erythropoietin gene, in this project DNA RM will be generated and characterised to test for doping with several ‘anabolic’ genes. This RM will facilitate implementation of a test for gene doping in doping control in sport.

Project Description

The project aims at development of a single synthetic DNA reference material that will form part of a test of athletes’ blood for several doping genes that have potential to improve muscle size and strength, and at validation of the use of that RM. The work will include design of a synthetic DNA sequence with very specific properties and its characterisation for quantity, purity, homogeneity and stability. Subsequently, using this RM, the multiplex ‘anabolic gene doping detection panel’ previously developed in our group will be validated using a model in vitro system. This will prepare the test for implementation in doping control. Most molecular techniques and instruments available in the NMI Bioanalysis laboratory will be used in this project, including digital PCR, Sanger and massively parallel sequencing. The student will also obtain experience in the use of numerous web-based tools for design and analysis of DNA and PCR assays, and in bioinformatics.

Examples of Relevant Sudent Courses

Biochemistry, Bioinformatics, Chemistry, Molecular biology

Student Level

Honours, Masters


3 months to 1 year


Lindfield (NSW)




Anna Baoutina

Email Contact

Interested in this project?

Application Form