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  Developing an injectable nano-therapeutic platform for osteoporotic bone repair


   Department of Anatomy and Regenerative Medicine

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  Dr Ciara Murphy  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Osteoporotic vertebral fractures are the most common complication of osteoporosis. Current treatment involves conventional procedures that inject cement into the vertebrae to stabilise the spine and relieve pain. No reparative treatment exists. This PhD project is part of an exciting European Research Council (ERC) funded project, RESTORE, that will utilise recent advances in the area of advanced manufacturing and 3D-printing to engineer a dual component biomaterial platform, comprising of a 3D-printed biodegradable stent and a therapeutic injectable hydrogel, with mechanical properties and bioactive composition tailored to regenerate and repair osteoporotic vertebral bone.

This specific PhD project will develop a therapeutic biomaterial technology to restore structural integrity and function in osteoporosis-damaged bone, combining stem cell biology, nano-therapeutics and bioengineering approaches to produce an injectable therapeutic delivery platform to drive bone regeneration. This is an extremely important and timely clinical topic, which represents a significant burden to healthcare worldwide and is a considerable socio-economic problem. The project will require detailed in vitro and in vivo assessment of the platforms healing potential, which will include histological and ultrastructural analysis, combined with a molecular analysis of protein distribution and gene expression in situ.

The successful candidate will be a part of the Murphy Lab within the wider Tissue Engineering Research Group (TERG), a multi-PI network based at RCSI. This highly dynamic research environment has over 30 early career researchers (including PhD/MSc students and Postdoctoral fellows) and the successful applicant will have a wide opportunity to interact with peers and near-peers of the various groups affiliated with TERG. The successful candiadte will also have the opportunity to work with our clinical collaborators on the RESTORE project, who will provide invaluable guidance on the development of the RESTORE technology for clinical use.

The successful candidate will also have opportunities to be involved in and to gain hands-on experience in the teaching activities of the Department of Anatomy and Regenerative Medicine, which include macroscopic anatomy and biology.

Deadline for application is 5pm on 14th July 2024. For more information, please contact Dr Ciara Murphy ([Email Address Removed])

Applicant criteria:

  • Minimum of an Upper Second-Class Honours (2.1) Bachelor’s degree, or equivalent, in Material Sciences, Mechanical Engineering, Biomedical Engineering or related disciplines.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills and a high level of competence in the English language.
  • Ability to work independently, to take initiative and discuss/develop and communicate own ideas.

Desirable specification:

  • Previous experience in cell culture techniques, and cell based assays would be desireable

How to apply:

To apply, please access the following link and complete the application form in full: 

https://forms.office.com/e/2Ccv2gmX81

  • Unfortunately, we are unable to provide individual feedback to applicants.
  • Shortlisted candidates will be invited for interview. 
  • At this stage only successful candidates will be contacted to submit CV, transcripts and other relevant documentation.
  • For successful candidates, referees will also be contacted at this stage for a reference. 

Applications must include: 

(i) a completed application form 

(ii) English language requirements – see https://www.rcsi.com/dublin/postgraduate/policies-and-guidelines/english-language-requirements

Deadline: All applications must be made online by 14/07/2024 (5 pm)

It is the candidate’s responsibility to ensure the application form is completed in full and on time. Late and/or incomplete applications will not normally be assessed.

Further information on the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland can be found here: https://www.rcsi.com/

Tenure: 4 year PhD

Application Deadline: 5pm on 14/07/2024

Shortlisting Date: 19/07/2024

Interview Date: 26/07/2024

Biological Sciences (4) Materials Science (24) Medicine (26)

 About the Project