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Biotechnology (cell therapy) PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships

We have 27 Biotechnology (cell therapy) PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships

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We have 27 Biotechnology (cell therapy) PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships

A Biotechnology PhD would provide you with the time and resources to research and develop methods and technologies that make use of Biology to improve industry. This could range from improving the efficiency of a biofuel, engineering pigment-producing bacteria to use to dye fabric, or genetically modifying crops to be resistant to a specific pest.

What’s it like to do a PhD in Biotechnology?

A PhD in Biotechnology would allow you to develop a specialist set of laboratory skills in areas such as gene editing with CRISPR and gene delivery through transformation, transfection, and transduction. Biotechnology programmes sometimes have a linked industry partner, in which case, you’ll have the opportunity to take part in a work placement and gain some hands-on industry experience.

Some typical research topics in Biotechnology include:

  • Developing therapeutic delivery vehicles
  • Engineering enzymes for industry
  • Developing or improving biofuels
  • Innovating new methods of using bacteria in industry
  • Vaccine development
  • Developing pest resistant crops

PhD programmes in Biotechnology are mostly fully-funded by either the university, an industrial partner, a doctoral training programme or a mix of these. The projects tend to be advertised, with the scope of the project determined by the supervisor.

Proposing your own project in Biotechnology is uncommon since you need to find a supervisor with research interests that overlap with yours, with all the equipment and expertise you require, and you’ll have to find funding to cover bench and PhD fees.

Day-to-day, you’ll be in the laboratory performing experiments, creating figures and analysing data you collected previously, and talking to your colleagues and supervisor about your methods and results. On completion of your laboratory work in your final year, you’ll submit an original thesis of around 60,000 words and defend this during your viva exam.

Entry requirements

The entry requirements for most Biotechnology PhD programmes involve a Masters in a subject directly related to Biology with at least a Merit or Distinction. If English isn’t your first language, you’ll also need to show that you have the right level of language proficiency.

PhD in Biotechnology funding options

The Research Council responsible for funding Biotechnology PhDs in the UK is the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC). They provide fully-funded studentships including a stipend for living costs, a consumables budget for bench fees and a tuition fee waiver. Students don’t apply directly to the BBSRC, you apply for advertised projects with this funding attached.

It’s uncommon for Biotechnology PhD students to be ‘self-funded’ due to the additional bench fees. However, if you were planning to fund yourself it might be achievable (depending on your project) through the UK government’s PhD loan and part-time work.

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Improving the viability of transplanted kidneys using cell therapy

Transplantation is the gold-standard treatment for end stage kidney disease but there is a shortage of suitable organs. To increase the donor pool, there has been increasing use of so-called ‘marginal’ kidneys from ‘donation after circulatory death’ (DCD) donors which are typically elderly donors with comorbidities. Read more

EASTBIO A novel synthetic biology approach towards anti-bacterial cell therapy

  Research Group: Institute of Quantitative Biology, Biochemistry and Biotechnology
Project Description. With the rising threat posed by antimicrobial resistance and the slow pace at which new antibiotics are being developed, never has the need for new anti-bacterial treatment strategies been more pressing. Read more

Development of biodegradable polymeric systems for drug delivery & tissue engineering applications (SAEEDA_U23SF)

The goal of this project is to create a new line of biodegradable polymeric delivery systems with built-in cell adhesion moieties for formulation of therapeutic agent drug delivery as well as tissue engineering and regenerative medicine applications. Read more

Advanced 3D models for Cancer Research

Radiotherapy and many chemotherapies kill cells by damaging DNA. The efficiency of these DNA damaging agents differs between tumour types and individual patients. Read more
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Uncovering novel negative regulators of T cell immunity to cancer

Cancer is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide, accounting for 10.0 million deaths globally in 2020 alone. Immunotherapy has revolutionised the way we treat patients with advanced cancer, but a majority of patients receiving existing immunotherapies will not respond to treatment. Read more

EASTBIO: Evaluation of novel therapeutic strategies to enhance islet cell viability for Islet Cell Transplantation

  Research Group: Centre for Inflammation Research
This PhD offers the opportunity to join an exciting and motivated team researching inflammation and metabolism in the context of drug discovery, precision medicine and preventing long-term harm. Read more

BBSRC PhD Studentship in “Cryogenic electron microscopy-based understanding of viral vector heterogeneity to aide process development"

About the Project. Viral vectors can be used as oncolytic viruses, gene-based vaccines, and gene therapy vectors. However, as highlighted by the adverse reactions observed with the recent ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine and gene therapy trials, gaps remain in our understanding of these products. Read more

ABM CDT The mechanisms of portable negative pressure wound therapy on wounds

Wounds are a major unmet healthcare burden that impact on millions of patients per year. From those undergoing simple surgeries to complex ulcers of the lower limbs, a common form of therapy is the use of negative pressure wound therapy. Read more

The development of bacteriophage as bionanoparticles for gene therapy

Gene therapy is at the forefront of innovations in healthcare. The key unmet need for transformative exploitation of gene therapy is to deliver genes to the correct tissue safely and with efficacy. Read more

Cancer: Repurposing drugs as new treatments for breast cancer

Breast cancer (BC) is the most common cancer, with over 1 million new cases diagnosed worldwide each year. For some types of BC, hormonal treatments have been very effective but one particular BC subtype, triple negative breast cancer (TNBC), is highly aggressive and lacks a targeted therapy. Read more

Investigating the role of the microenvironment in paediatric and adult acute myeloid leukaemia

The incidence of acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) increases with age, and in childhood accounts for 20% of all leukaemia. The current overall survival rate in children is only 60-70%, and thereafter falls progressively with age to 5-15% in the elderly. Read more

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