Research Fellow - School of Chemical Engineering

United Kingdom
£30,942 - £42,792
Oct 15, 2020
Nov 13, 2020
Organization Type
University and College
Full Time
Position Details

Area: School of Chemical Engineering in the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences

Salary: Full time starting salary is normally in the range £30,942 to £40,322 with potential progression once in post to £42,792

Band/Grade: Grade 7

Hours: Full time

Duration: Fixed term for up to 24 months

Location: University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham, UK

Closing Date: 27 October 2020


Project title: The design and development of mechano-nano-magnetic platforms for control of cell behaviour.

The fellowship is to lead a program in the design and development of a mechano-nano-magnetic platform to underpin the development of novel therapeutic strategies by remote control cell behaviour. This platform will be designed to use in vitro and also in vivo strategies ultimately leading to clinical use. This will include the design of magnetic bioreactors for cell culture and a magnetic bandage for pre-clinical trials.

The overarching aim of this project will be to initially identify mechano-receptor binding sites on defined tissue cells in addition to undifferentiated stem cells which will enable remote activation of signalling pathways via magnetic fields. This would feed into the design of tailored tagging strategies using single cell through 3D human organoid models to in vivo for a range of disease models. To support clinical translation, external remote control devices to influence cells in vivo will be required. Collectively, this aims to create clinically relevant treatment modalities for remote control healing in areas of orthopaedics.

The successful applicant will be expected to have a multidisciplinary background and will be expected to work closely with clinicians from University Hospital Birmingham, industrial partners, and collaborators across other schools at the university. The position will involve close liaison with the Institute of Translational Medicine and other translational programmes leading towards commercialisation of the innovations from the project.

The successful applicant will join a new laboratory within the Healthcare Institute at Birmingham University and will be responsible for overseeing new project development within their own interests.

Main Duties

In addition to conducting own and original research, the successful candidate will be required to oversee junior staff involve in and take responsibility for the research stream:

1) Tailor and design external remote control devices

This programme will involve the design and fabrication of permanent and electromagnetic devices to control the behaviour of cells tagged with magnetic nanoparticles both in vitro and in vivo. Devices should initially be designed with large preclinical animal models (bone and cartilage injuries) in mind which can then be translated to clinical scenarios. Assays to confirm cell responses will be developed to validate device design.

In addition, the successful candidate will collaborate and work with colleagues on the research activity:

2) To create clinically relevant treatment modalities for remote control healing.

In vitro studies will be translated to relevant small and large animal models to demonstrate functional repair as a result of a given approach and validate the external magnetic device from (1).

Further the candidate will be required to work closely with additional Research Fellows and assist in the supervision of PhD students within the lab of Professor Alicia El Haj. Together they will be required to bring together a selection of targets for manipulation of signalling pathways by external magnet arrays devices and testing in a range of pre-clinical animal models.

The successful candidate will be expected to apply and be a co-applicant for further fellowship funding to support this research with the aim of moving towards the clinic. Liaison with Pharmaceutical and other industrial collaborators will be part of the role and driving commercialisation of any potential products from the programme.

Knowledge, Skills, Qualifications and Experience Required

  • PhD in a relevant discipline and, a strong interest in multidisciplinary science.
  • First degree in a physical science or engineering subject.
  • High-level analytical capability and experience of magnetics, and nano-magnetic strategies.
  • Ability to communicate complex information clearly to a range of stakeholders, including clinical and industrial partners.
  • Fluency in relevant models, techniques or methods and ability to contribute to developing new ones.
  • Ability to assess resource requirements and use resources effectively.
  • Understanding of and ability to contribute to broader management/administration processes

  • Experience of supervising PhD or PG project students
  • Experience of working with in-vitro cell cultures
  • Knowledge and experience of large and small animal orthopaedic animal models
  • Experience in magnetic nanoparticle characterisation.
  • Experience is magnetic array design and fabrication.
  • Knowledge and experience in compatible imaging modalities.
  • Expertise in computational modelling of magnetics arrays.
  • Knowledge of relevant regulation and translational routes for nano-technology.
  • Experience in grant and fellowship applications.

Informal enquiries can be made to Prof Alicia El-Haj;

We value diversity at The University of Birmingham and welcome applications from all sections of the community

Valuing excellence; sustaining investment

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