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PhD in DNA nanotechnology and bottom-up synthetic biology

   Department of Chemistry

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  Dr Lorenzo Di Michele  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

The group of Dr Lorenzo Di Michele at the Department of Chemistry of Imperial College London is looking to recruit a PhD student to carry out experimental work at the interface of DNA nanotechnology and bottom-up synthetic biology.

Bottom-up synthetic biology aims at constructing artificial cells, micron-scale entities that replicate typical functionalities of biological cells, such as regulated metabolism, communication and adaptation to their environment. Artificial cells offer vast applicability as biosensing systems and nanomedical devices, while helping researchers to unravel the molecular mechanisms underlying biological complexity in a simplified setting.

DNA nanotechnology enables exquisite control over the structure and dynamic response of nanoscale objects constructed from synthetic DNA molecules, making it ideal to produce nanomachines and structural elements that mimic biology, and can thus be applied in the context of artificial-cell research.

This PhD project aims a developing new DNA-nanotech tools for bottom-up synthetic biology, including (but not limited to) stimuli-responsive cell-like architectures and sensing/communication platforms. The student will design responsive DNA nanosystems (aided by computer tools), assemble and characterise them in the lab, and finally integrate them with synthetic cellular mimics. Depending on the student’s interests and skillset, experiments may be complemented by theoretical analysis and coarse-grained computer simulations.

The candidate should hold a master’s degree in physics, physical chemistry, or a closely related discipline, preferably with interest or experience on soft matter or biophysics. Experience with computer programming would be highly beneficial.

Most important, the candidate should share our curiosity and enthusiasm for research!

For further information, please contact Dr Lorenzo Di Michele ([Email Address Removed])


Location: Molecular Science Research Hub, White City Campus, Department of Chemistry, Imperial College London.

Start date: 01/10/2022

Duration: 4 years

Eligibility: UK nationals and settled residents (eligible for home fees)

Application process

To apply, please send via email to Lorenzo Di Michele ([Email Address Removed]) the following material before 31/03/2022

-         Covering letter (max 1 page)

-         CV (max 2 pages)

-         2 letters of references

Shortlisted candidates will be contacted shortly after the deadline for a Zoom interview 

How good is research at Imperial College London in Chemistry?

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