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3-year PhD studentship: 3D printing in vitro models to understand the impact of the bacterial biofilm/host environment on the effectiveness of antimicrobials in cystic fibrosis


Location:  UK Other
Closing Date:  Monday 24 April 2023
Reference:  ENG1624

Supervisors: Professor Miguel Camara (School of Life Sciences), Professor Ricky Wildman (Faculty of Engineering), Professor Felicity Rose (School of Pharmacy) and Dr Helen Barr (Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust). 

Chronic lung infections are a feature of cystic fibrosis, a progressive genetic disease that ultimately limits the ability of affected individuals to breathe over time. Antimicrobial resistance continues to challenge effective treatments for these patients. There is therefore an urgent clinical need for relevant 3D models of infection in cystic fibrosis to improve our understanding of the fundamental biology of infection which enables the development of more effective treatment strategies. The aims of this PhD will be to understand how interactions between biofilm microbial communities and host cells using 3D printed infection models affect the effectiveness of antimicrobial treatments.  This interdisciplinary research project will allow you to develop skills across different disciplines whilst providing a unique opportunity to understand the challenges associated with treating infections associated with cystic fibrosis. 

This PhD position is part of a larger portfolio of projects connected through an EPSRC funded Programme Grant Dialling up performance for on demand manufacturing and the National Biofilms Innovation Centre (NBIC) at Nottingham.  These projects provide a supporting and guiding network of researchers with whom to learn from and collaborate with. 

Working in world-class laboratory facilities with the leading experts in biofilms, infection, 3D printing, in vitro models and in the treatment of cystic fibrosis infections, you will develop skills in microbiology, mammalian cell culture and will learn state-of-the-art techniques in 3D bioprinting. In addition, you will develop skills in biochemical assays and in light microscopy including in the most advanced imaging techniques. This project is an exciting opportunity to generate insights in chronic infection which will have significant clinical impact in the longer term for those living with this life-limiting disease. 

The ideal candidate will therefore have interest in 3D printing and its applications, and knowledge of microbiology their interactions with the human body to cause infection and disease. The studentship will be based in the Nottingham Biodiscovery Institute with access to a full range of equipment and laboratory facilities for the study of bacteria and mammalian cells, including a bespoke bioprinting laboratory.  In addition, the student will be able to access equipment and training within the Centre for Additive Manufacturing which is one of the largest 3D printing groups worldwide and hosts state of the art laboratories within the Faculty of Engineering that are unrivalled for their capability. 


• Due to funding restrictions, the position is only available for UK candidates

• Candidates must possess or expect to obtain, a 2:1 or first-class degree in an Bioengineering, Physical or Life Sciences related discipline.

How to apply

Please send a copy of your covering letter, CV and academic transcripts to referring to the project title. 

Closing date: applications will be evaluated on a rolling basis until a suitable candidate is appointed.

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