ERC Funded PhD - On Demand Drug Delivery

RCSI - Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
September 11 2017
Position Type
Full Time
Organization Type

Supervisor name: Dr Cathal Kearney

Department: Anatomy

Funding Agency: European Research Council (ERC) - Horizon2020 Starting Grant

Studentship Details: Stipend of €18,500/year for 4 years and cover of EU fees

Start Date: Oct 2017

Subject Area: (On-demand) drug/gene delivery; tissue engineering; biomaterial scaffold design; diabetic foot ulcers

Title of the Project On-Demand Delivery From Tissue Engineering Scaffold for Diabetic Foot Ulcers

Project Description

Numerous natural biological processes undergo intricate control over the timing of signals/growth factor presentation. For successful tissue growth to occur, several signaling molecules will switch on and off at precise timepoints to instruct cells through the various phases of healing. Skin wound healing is no exception; however, the typical wound healing sequence does not typically occur in diabetic foot ulcers making them notoriously difficult to heal.

A key focus in the Kearney Lab ( is the development of drug delivery systems that can be triggered to release signaling factors at precise timepoints and the integration of these systems into tissue engineering scaffolds. These platforms are then used to interrogate the effect of bioactive factor timing on tissue regeneration. By understanding the effect of cue timing, enhanced signaling profiles can be achieved; by incorporating this technology inside a tissue engineering scaffold, more effective tissue engineering devices can be developed.

This PhD project will specifically focus on the development of an on-demand delivery system for genes that are used to instruct enhanced healing in diabetic foot ulcers. The second phase of the project will focus on developing fabrication techniques to integrate the system into porous tissue engineering scaffolds and its subsequent testing.

This fully funded 4-year PhD project will be undertaken in the newly renovated and expanded state-of-the-art Tissue Engineering Research Group ( laboratories in the main RCSI building beside St Stephen's Green. Aside from the core research project, transferable skills and career development will be strongly supported by Dr. Kearney, TERG and RCSI. In addition, funding is already in place for attendance at both national and international conferences and opportunities to undergo specialised training in collaborator's laboratories in Ireland, the USA or elsewhere will be actively explored.

The Kearney Lab's ethos is to provide strong engineering, scientific and biomedical training within a nurturing and collegial environment to ensure trainees are fully prepared for (what we expect to be!) exciting careers.

This job comes from a partnership with Science Magazine and Euraxess

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