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Role of autophagy In bioprocessing

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  • Full or part time
    Prof Susan McDonnell
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

Applications are invited for a PhD studentship funded by UCD Advance PhD Programme. The Biopharmaceutical sector has become an important source of high-level, value added employment worldwide. Chinese Hamster Ovary (CHO) cells have become the standard cells for the large-scale production of biopharmaceuticals with 70% of existing licensed biopharmaceuticals produced from modifications of the original CHO cell line. Although significant strides have been made to improve CHO cell culture based processes, opportunities to optimise upstream bioprocesses for product yield and quality abound. During a typical bioprocess the process terminates due to cell death which results in low levels of productivity. Although many strategies have been developed to extend cell health and viability, detailed understanding of the mechanisms underpinning cell behaviour during the late stages of culture is still lacking. Better understanding of cell physiology during the final stages of culture would be invaluable for identifying novel cell engineering strategies and optimal bioprocess conditions to extend cell health and viability, and thus, achieve higher protein yields.

The overall objective of this project is to develop an understanding of how and why cells die during bioprocess for production of biopharmaceuticals. We will examine the cellular and molecular mechanism of autophagy In a production cell line, CHO-DP12. Cells engineered to be resistant to autophagy will be grown under various conditions and process parameters measured and to establish the optimal conditions for continuous growth and maximal productivity of cell lines.

Applicants should have, or expect to have, a first class or upper second class honours degree (B.Sc.) or a Masters degree in biotechnology, cell & molecular biology or biochemical engineering. Experience and expertise in mammalian cell culture, cell transfection and ELISA is required. A start date in September 2019 is anticipated.

Applications to include:
- motivation statement (~500 words)
- 2 page CV
- contact details for 2 referees
- PDF of BSc or MSc thesis
- Proof of English language proficiency if first language is not English

Funding Notes

The PhD studentship includes an annual stipend of €18,000 over 4 years, registration fees, consumables costs and travel allowance.

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