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PhD Studentship: In The Mechanobiology of the Ageing Brain

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Monday, April 29, 2019
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Outstanding applications are invited to join the Department of Mechanical Engineering at UCL as part of an interdisciplinary PhD studentship at the interface of neuroscience and mechanical engineering. The PhD project is part of a Leverhulme Trust project and will be jointly supervised by Dr Emad Moeendarbary (Mechanical Engineering, UCL), Dr Graham Sheridan (University of Nottingham) and Prof Paola Pedarzani (UCL Neuroscience). The project concerns understanding the links between brain ageing and perturbations to the mechanical properties of neurons and glia, particularly in the hippocampus.

The position will enable the successful applicant to join an international network of bioengineers using innovative approaches to tackle major, unmet challenges in ageing, dementia and neurodegenerative diseases. We offer access to world-leading institutions for the study of mechanobiology, neurophysiology, healthcare engineering, and neurodegenerative disorders.

You will help to run a programme of research to investigate the molecular and cellular mechanisms that lead to altered mechanical properties of neurons and glial in the ageing brain, and how altered mechanotransduction leads to disturbances in calcium homeostasis and the electrophysiological properties of hippocampal neurons and glial cells.

Person Specification

• Applicants are preferred to have a first class undergraduate and master’s degrees (or equivalent) in Mechanical Engineering, Physics, Neuroscience or a related discipline.
• Excellent organizational, interpersonal and communication skills, along with a stated interest in interdisciplinary research, are essential.
• Experience in either of microfluidics or atomic force microscopy or electrophysiology (e.g. patch-clamp recordings) or live-cell imaging techniques would be essential.
• Fluency and clarity in spoken English as well as good written English in accordance with UCL English requirements (TOEFL>92 or IELTS>6.5).

Closing Date and Start Date

We will be continuously having informal discussion with interested candidates until this position is filled. The start date is 1st August 2019.

This funding is available for UK and EU passport holders. However, extremely exceptional international candidates may also be considered. There is no minimum qualifying residence requirement for applicants from the EU. Please DO NOT enquire about this studentship if you are ineligible. Please refer to the following website for eligibility criteria: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/research-degrees/mechanical-engineering-mphil-phd

Application Process

Eligible applicants should first contact Dr Emad Moeendarbary () quoting the Job reference. Please enclose a cover letter (including the names and contact details of two referees), one-page research statement and two pages CV. The supervisory team will arrange interviews for short-listed candidates. After interview, the successful candidate will be required to formally apply online via the UCL website.

Funding Notes

Full tuition fees and stipend of up to £16,777 per annum (for 3 years)
Eligibility: This funding is available for UK and EU passport holders. However, extremely exceptional international candidates may also be considered. There is no minimum qualifying residence requirement for applicants from the EU.

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