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Investigating the impact of cellular state on cryopreservation

   Warwick Medical School

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  Prof Matthew Gibson  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

This industrial Collaborative Award in Science and Engineering (iCASE) studentship is offered by Warwick’s MRC Funded Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP). The training program involves an exciting one-year MSc in Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research and then a three-year PhD project, co-supervised by experts from both academia and industry.  Students join a dynamic DTP community, which includes advanced workshops, transferable skills training, careers support and cohort learning events and conferences with ~50 other students.

We are constantly working to create a supportive and inclusive environment to help students achieve their best potential, through promoting equality and challenging discrimination. We want our students to feel heard and valued for their hard work. We welcome and encourage applications from minoritised groups that are under-represented in academia.

Project summary:

Cell cryopreservation is essential for discovery-based biomedical research, drug screening and delivery of cell-based therapies in the clinic (such as CAR-T cells). The UoW has a large team investigating the cryopreservation of complex therapies (drugs to vaccines), inspired by how extremophiles survive in extreme cold. In this collaborative research project between academia and industry we will explore how cold stress impacts therapeutic human cell storage, with a focus on the ‘state’ of the cells at the point of being frozen, and if this can be manipulated. We will use chemical and physical stimuli to induce certain cell states, including parts of the cell cycle, and quantify the impact of this on the quality of the recovered cells with the aim of making cryopreserved cells more viable for future advanced therapies. The project will give a student the chance to undertake important, cutting-edge cell biology research in collaboration with a major pharmaceutical company. The outputs from this work will include improved understanding of how cells prepare for and survive cold stress as well as new tools and methods to improve cell-based therapies for the clinic.


Year One l MSc

Students undertake a series of taught modules, including Frontier Techniques in Biomedical Research, Physical Biology of the Cell, Microscopy and Imaging, Mathematical Modelling, Mass Spectrometry, and two laboratory-based research projects. 

Years Two, Three and Four l PhD project

Student support

Students receive outstanding mentoring, careers and pastoral support throughout the programme.


Entry requirements

Candidates must have:

  • An excellent undergraduate degree (2:i or above) in the biological, physical or computational sciences; and ideally a background in cell culture, cell biology or bio-materials engineering.
  • Advanced skills in mathematics (A-Level or international equivalent).  

How to apply

If you are interested in joining our DTP community, please apply by 5 June 2022. Interviews will take place in the week commencing 25 July 2022.

For further information please see warwick.ac.uk/mrcdtp

Funding Notes

Studentships cover full fees, consumables, conference attendance and an annual stipend (£18,340 in 2022/23*). Students can also apply for additional funding from the DTP for advanced training workshops, international or industry placements, internships and career transition support.
* Estimated stipend amount; exact figure to be confirmed
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