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Investigate whether a humanized mouse model can be used to monitor the human immune response to autologous human induced pluripotent stem cell-derivatives as a pre-clinical model for prediction of immunogenicity

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  • Full or part time
    Dr C Burns
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About This PhD Project

Project Description

Position: PhD Student
Division: Biotherapeutics, NIBSC
Location: South Mimms, Potters Bar, Hertfordshire
Reference number: NB313
Grade and salary range: PhD Student - £18,500 annual stipend
Contract type: 3 year fixed term contract

The Organisation:
The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency enhance and improve the health of millions of people every day through the effective regulation of medicines and medical devices, underpinned by science and research. The agency is made up of circa 1300 staff working across two main centres and peripatetically across the UK and abroad.

A centre of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, The National Institute for Biological Standards and Control (NIBSC) is a global leader in the characterisation, standardisation and control of biological medicines. NIBSC plays a major role in assuring the quality of biological medicines worldwide through the provision of biological reference materials, by testing products and carrying out research. Our expert scientists also provide advice on a routine basis and in response to emergencies.

Purpose of role:
The Biotherapeutics Group within NIBSC is responsible for the standardisation and product evaluation of a diverse range of biological products such as immunoglobulins, monoclonal antibodies, hormones and clotting factors. It also conducts underpinning research activities in these and other areas.

A three year PhD studentship is available in collaboration with the Division of Infection and Immunity at University College London. The recent breakthrough development of induced pluripotent stem cells, generated by the reprogramming of somatic cells, offers a potentially immunologically matched stem cell population for novel cellular replacement therapies. Although hugely exciting, questions remain about the immunogenicity of these cells and there is some emerging evidence in rodent models that derivatives these cells may elicit an immune response in recipients. Key to the success of any cellular therapy is an understanding of issues such as immunogenicity and predicting the human immune response is a vital part of this.

This PhD project will investigate whether a humanized mouse model can be used to monitor the human immune response to autologous human induced pluripotent stem cell-derivatives as a pre-clinical model for prediction of immunogenicity. The successful will benefit from the state-of-the-art training in both the development of a humanised mouse model and also in induced pluripotent stem cell biology. In addition, the student will have access to the latest developments in both imaging and molecular biology technology. As well as an interest in these disciplines, laboratory experience is one or more of the key interest areas would be an advantage.

The Division of Infection and Immunity at University College London is an international Centre of excellence in experimental medicine in the fields of transplantation and tissue engineering, immunological therapies and cell and gene therapy. Although the PhD student will be mainly based at NIBSC, he or she will also spend time at UCL as part of their academic development and will attend seminars and presentations, the postgraduate club and the annual PhD colloquium.

Key responsibilities:
• To undertake the research projects in line with the project aims
• To communicate effectively, orally and through written media, undertake presentations at scientific meetings and maintain excellent records.
• To interact regularly and effectively with your supervisors and interact appropriately and effectively with other staff.
• To meet the expectations of the study for a PhD by the awarding body (University).

How to apply:
Please submit a CV and a covering letter detailing what you can bring to the post and what you would anticipate achieving from the studentship by emailing [Email Address Removed]. This studentship is expected to start on 1st October 2016.

You must have or expect to obtain a 1 or 2.1 class qualification in an appropriate life science degree.

We are an equal opportunities employer and welcome applications from suitably qualified people regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, race, religion, politics or disability. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency commits itself to the Guaranteed Interview Scheme (GIS). This means that it guarantees to interview all disabled candidates (as defined by the Disability Discrimination Act 1995), who satisfy the minimum essential criteria for the advertised post. If a candidate wishes to apply for consideration under this scheme, please include this in your covering letter.

Due to the volume of applications we expect to receive we will only contact successful candidates. If you have not heard back in the next 28 days please assume you have been unsuccessful.

Please note funding is available for UK and European Economic Area (EEA) nationals only.

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