PhD in Engineering and Pharmacy Artificial Cells As Living Technology

Cardiff University, UK has an opening PhD position in molecular biology. The deadline to apply is December 21, 2018.

The Barrow (Engineering) and Castell (Pharmacy) laboratories at Cardiff University seek motivated PhD candidates to contribute to an exciting 5M funded European collaboration in the field of synthetic biology and the development of programmable artificial cells as living technology.

This large-scale multidisciplinary research project aims to build on our existing work in the fabrication of membrane compartmentalised artificial cells that harness some of the complexity observed in biological systems.

As a central technology, these engineered synthetic cells provide a platform to encapsulate chemical and biochemical processes within cell-like structures that can then be programmed and orchestrated to act in dynamic and responsive ways, much like their biological counterparts.

By exploiting biologically controlled approaches to material engineering this promises new technological capabilities with broad applications – from helping us better understand the functions of the cell and how disfunction gives rise to disease, to the development of drug discovery and characterisation platforms, new diagnostics and smart-functional-materials.

The emerging field of Synthetic Biology involves the application of engineering principles to biological systems and components. Artificial cells are engineered elements made via this approach that mimic some of the essential characteristics of biological cells. Such materials hold great promise as a new class of functional materials well suited to sophisticated and complex tasks through their potential to act in dynamic and responsive ways.

This project aims to build on our earlier work in the microfluidic fabrication of membrane compartmentalised artificial cells as precision built, ordered, hierarchical cellular constructs – a design mimicking living systems. In these systems we are able to reconstitute functional water-soluble and membrane proteins, in addition to synthetic chemistries.

We aim to develop new approaches to provide control of spatially organised chemistries, their interaction and regulation to elicit new and useful functions – such as stimuli-responsiveness, sensing, chemical-synthesis, and smart integration of these properties – to produce next generation soft-matter materials inspired by biology.

It is anticipated that such synthetic biological systems will play important roles in diverse application areas such as drug delivery, tissue engineering, bio- and environmental-sensing and future smart materials.

Cardiff University was rated 5th in the UK for the quality of its research in the 2014 UK Research Excellence Framework (REF) assessment. Research at Cardiff University is working across disciplines to tackle major challenges facing society, the economy and the environment. Research in the Castell and Barrow laboratories takes an interdisciplinary approach at the interface of the physical and biological sciences.

This project will utilise many techniques and allow for the development of a wide array of skills. Between the complementary PhD opportunities on offer, techniques will include biochemistry and molecular biology, microfabrication, microfluidics, and microscopy, together with chemical and biophysical methods in addition to coding for experimental design and data analysis, and COMSOL simulation.

The required resources are all available between the host Schools of Engineering and Pharmacy. The work will take place within a multidisciplinary team of wide-ranging expertise, within which the successful candidates will play active roles and synergise with other researchers.

Students will contribute to the wider European collaborative team of the Artificial Cells as Living Technology project, providing the opportunity to interact with partners in Italy, France and Switzerland contributing to collaborative research, network events and presenting at meetings. This will result in an extremely well-rounded, interdisciplinary and highly employable individual. Future prospects look good, especially in several advanced engineering and bio-technology fields, such as bioengineering and biomedicine.


Get latest scholarships via your email! It's free!
Remember to check your email and active the subscription.
You can unsubscribe any time.
Copyright © 2015 All Right Reserved.