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Mechanobiology of Human Inflammaging


   Institute of Inflammation and Ageing

  Dr Nikhil Jain  Tuesday, March 01, 2022  Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

Birmingham United Kingdom Bioengineering Biomedical Engineering Biophysics Biotechnology Cell Biology Genomics Immunology Molecular Biology Molecular Genetics Nanotechnology

About the Project

We are seeking applications for a fully-funded Ph.D. position in Mechanobiology, and Bioengineering, in the context of Human Ageing at the University of Birmingham.

The Mechano-theranostics group in the Institute of Inflammation and Ageing, and Healthcare Technology Institute at the University of Birmingham is looking for a Ph.D. candidate who is keen to investigate changes in cell and nuclear mechanobiology during human ageing and associated inflammatory diseases. The group is largely funded by the University of Birmingham and is using novel bioengineering (microfluidics and microfabrication) techniques combined with advanced single-cell ‘omics’ toolkits and state-of-the-art high-resolution imaging to understand how cell and nuclear mechanics are altered as we age, and how we could restore them to re-establish healthy genomic confirmation in aged cells. You will work in Dr. Jain's Lab whose research focuses on cell and nuclear mechanotransduction. You will also work closely with Prof. Janet Lord and Prof. Alicia El-Haj.

The group is based in a state-of-the-art research unit located in the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, the largest hospital in Europe, supported by extensive biomedical infrastructure. The IIA, which is where you will primarily be based, draws together over 40 principal investigators who perform fundamental and translational science, and currently hosts 5 nationally awarded Centres of Excellence, including the MRC-Versus Arthritis Centre for Musculoskeletal Ageing Research and the Birmingham BRC in Inflammation. The extensive resources available to the group in Birmingham include the Birmingham 1000 Elders cohort of over 600 healthy aged (>65 years) individuals, state-of-the-art imaging capability in our COMPARE imaging suite (a £10 million investment from the Universities of Birmingham and Nottingham), regular interactions with clinicians, and a large, well-managed animal facility.

Your Ph.D. will tackle legitimate and understudied questions in biogerontology that will lead to an improved understanding of how the changes in the biophysical properties of cells can affect their phenotype and function with ageing. Secondly, it will address these questions by bringing new technologies, and methodologies to the biogerontology and immunology fields. Your findings will also provide new therapeutic targets to reduce age-associated inflammation, which will be tested both in aged mice and human samples.

The group is looking for an enthusiastic and extremely motivated candidate interested in learning new tools and techniques and developing his/her ideas. Please apply if you have a background in any of the following areas: physics, bioengineering, cell biology, biomaterials, biomedical engineering, molecular biology, biotechnology, and tissue engineering.

 Applications should be directed to Dr. Nikhil Jain (). To apply, please send: 

• A detailed CV, including your nationality;

• Names and addresses of two referees;

• A covering letter highlighting your research experience/capabilities;

• Copies of your degree certificates with transcripts;

• Evidence of your proficiency in the English language, if applicable.


Funding Notes

This Ph.D. position includes a stipend + Tuition Fees (Home), funded by the University of Birmingham. A consumable budget is also provided. Qualification for Home fees is only available to UK citizens or those who have been resident in the UK for a period of 3 years or more (View Website). Non-Home students are welcome to apply but should be able to demonstrate adequate financial support to cover the difference between the Home fee and the Non-Home fee.

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