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Mechanical Force Propagation: From the Cell Surface to the Nucleus


   Department of Physics

   Friday, March 31, 2023  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Cells constantly sense and respond to the mechanical properties of their surrounding environment. This in turn can trigger changes in cellular behaviour, function, and fate. However, the mechanisms by which cells sense and interpret these mechanical signals and the associated timescales of force propagation within the cell are yet to be fully understood.

The aim of this PhD project is to elucidate the mechanisms by which cells propagate mechanical stimuli from the cell surface across the cytoskeleton to eventually reach the nucleus and trigger changes in gene expression and cell behaviour. 

In this PhD project, the candidate will use a combination of cellular biology approaches and experimental biophysical approaches (including fluorescence microscopy, fabrication of mechanically-tuneable hydrogels and microfluidic devices) to investigate the molecular mechanisms by which cells modulate their behaviour in response to mechanical stimuli.

The PhD student will gain expertise in experimental biophysics approaches and quantitative image analysis. The successful candidate will join the Biological Physics and Soft Matter group in Department of Physics at King´s College London – an international and interdisciplinary and collaborative department in the heart of London. The student will have access to regular seminars from world-leading researchers.

Entry requirements: Applicants should have, or expect to have, an integrated Master’s (e.g., MSci) with first-class honours or upper division second-class honours (2:1), or a BSc plus Master’s (MSc) degree with Merit or Distinction. Due to the interdisciplinary nature of the project, we welcome applications from students with backgrounds in Biophysics, Cell Biology, Bioengineering, or related subject. The successful applicant will demonstrate strong interest and motivation in the subject, and ability to think critically and creatively. Previous research experience in an experimental interdisciplinary research environment is desirable.

Informal enquiries from interested candidates are encouraged, and applications can initially contact the supervisor (Amy Beedle, ) with a CV, and motivation letter expressing interest in the project.

To be considered for the position candidates must apply via King’s Apply online application system. Details are available at:

https://www.kcl.ac.uk/physics/postgraduate/research-degrees

Please indicate your desired supervisor and quote research group

Amy Beedle

in your application and all correspondence.

The selection process will involve a pre-selection on documents, if selected this will be followed by an invitation to an interview. If successful at the interview, an offer will be provided in due time.

https://www.kcl.ac.uk/study/postgraduate-research/how-to-apply


Funding Notes

This position is fully funded for 3.5 years by the Faculty for Natural, Mathematical, and Engineering Sciences at King’s. Funding covers:
• A tax-free stipend of no less than £19,668
• UK tuition fees
• A 'Research Training Support Grant' to cover research expenses
Exceptional international students may be eligible to apply for a competitive fee waiver for the difference between UK-level and international-level tuition fees. This option will be discussed with shortlisted candidates.

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