PhD scholarship in Biomaterials-based Approach for the Creation of Artificial Red Blood Cells

DTU Health Technology
Thursday 07 Feb 19

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A 3-year PhD position is available at the Biomimetics, Biocarriers and Bioimplants group (The 3Bs) headed by Assoc. Prof. Leticia Hosta-Rigau, DTU Health Tech, Technical University of Denmark, Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark.

The 3Bs is a highly interdisciplinary and positive group with open-minded and supportive members. The 3Bs research lies on the interface of materials science, organic/polymer chemistry together with molecular and cell biology. The research focus areas of the group are drug delivery, tissue engineering and cell mimicry.

The 3Bs are well embedded into the Biopharma division, where multiple young research groups work closely together to create a motivating environment.

With this announced position, we will assemble a haemoglobin-based oxygen carrier to be used when donor blood is not an option or not available.

The position is available as soon as possible.

Responsibilities and tasks
Blood is crucial for our survival and the only way to substitute for blood loss occurring during accidents or surgery is by using blood from donors. However, blood transfusions have some limitations and risks: before blood can be transfused, there is a need for typing and matching due to the different blood groups causing fatal delays in emergency situations. Also, blood has a short storage lifetime, which makes it impossible to create large blood supplies to be used in acute disasters such as earthquakes or plane accidents. Furthermore, blood transfusions can help spreading new viral infections, like it happened with HIV in the 80s. Thus, developing a new oxygen-carrier solution for use when red blood cells are neither an option or available persists as one of the foremost important challenges in biomedicine.

The successful candidate will work in a highly interdisciplinary project in the interface of polymer chemistry, materials science together with molecular and cell biology.

The research project will be focused in the fabrication of a new class of microcarriers with potential to serve as Red Blood Cells Substitutes (RBCS).

The successful candidate will be responsible to:
 

  • Assemble hemoglobin-loaded polymeric carriers
  • Conduct a thorough characterization of the system by means of several techniques (e.g., optical and electron microscopy, flow cytometry, DLS)
  • Assess their biocompatibility and potential cell uptake by several relevant cell lines
  • Conduct an in vivo characterization in murine models
Qualifications
The ideal candidate holds a two-year master’s degree (120 ECTS points) or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to a two-year master’s degree in bio/nanotechnology, materials science, chemistry or pharmaceutical technology. A master’s project or previous work experience in biomaterials or drug delivery is preferred.

Experience within one or more of the following areas will also be an advantage:
 
  • Microscopy techniques (SEM, TEM).
  • Optical microscopy (e.g., confocal microscopy)
  • Flow cytometry
  • Mammalian cell culture
  • Experience with in vivo models (FELASA B or similar)
You must also be highly independent, driven, and be able to speak and write English fluently.

Approval and Enrolment
The scholarship for the PhD degree is subject to academic approval, and the candidate will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes at DTU. For information about our enrolment requirements and the general planning of the PhD study programme, please see the DTU PhD Guide

Assessment
The assessment of the applicants will be made by Associate Professor Leticia Hosta-Rigau.

We offer
DTU is a leading technical university globally recognized for the excellence of its research, education, innovation and scientific advice. We offer a rewarding and challenging job in an international environment. We strive for academic excellence in an environment characterized by collegial respect and academic freedom tempered by responsibility.

Salary and appointment terms
The appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed upon with the relevant union. The period of employment is 3 years.

You can read more about
career paths at DTU here

Further information
Further information may be obtained from Associate Professor Leticia Hosta-Rigau, leri@dtu.dk.

You can read more about DTU Health Tech on
www.healthtech.dtu.dk.

Application
Please submit your online application no later than 7 March 2019 (local time)To apply, please open the link "Apply online", fill out the online application form. The following must be attached in English: 
  • A letter motivating the application (cover letter)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma
  • Excel sheet with translation of grades to the Danish grading system (see guidelines and Excel spreadsheet here)
  • A detailed list of technical skills (i.e., techniques and instrumentation)
Candidates may apply prior to obtaining their master's degree but cannot begin before having received it.

Applications and enclosures received after the deadline will not be considered.

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.

The DTU Health Technology Department located at the so-called “Medicon Valley”, is an international-class research platform where around 300 researchers work together to provide new technology and new solutions to improve the quality of patient care and public health and well-being.

DTU is a technical university providing internationally leading research, education, innovation and scientific advice. Our staff of 6,000 advance science and technology to create innovative solutions that meet the demands of society, and our 11,200 students are being educated to address the technological challenges of the future. DTU is an independent academic university collaborating globally with business, industry, government and public agencies.