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Single-molecule fluorescence-activated cell sorting (smFACS): sorting cells molecule by molecule

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Friday, January 03, 2020
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

This project will develop a novel microfluidic device that can characterise and sort cells, with unprecedented (single-molecule) sensitivity. More than 50% of drug treatments rely on targeting membrane proteins on cells. An example for treating cancer involves modifying the body’s own immune system to cause white blood cells to kill cancer cells via targets on their membrane. However, every person has a different repertoire of proteins on their cell membranes and contemporary medical diagnostic devices are not sensitive enough to detect low numbers of proteins. This means that some patients are currently denied treatment, despite there being a suitable therapy. By applying high-speed fluorescence and single-molecule imaging, the sensitivity of cell sorting will be vastly improved to enable counting of individual membrane proteins. When applied in medical diagnostics, this will increase the number of patients that can access novel drug therapies.

This project is available as one of five PhD studentships with the Bragg Centre to tackle fundamental and applied problems to create new and improve existing materials. These will address fundamental and applied problems across design, characterisation, fabrication and modelling. The Centre comprises around 150 members from over ten Schools and has had continued investment in excellent facilities and infrastructure, including a new building opening in 2020, to ensure that our staff and students benefit from state-of-the-art, high quality equipment and laboratories. We are a founding partner of the Henry Royce Institute, the UK’s Institute for Advanced Materials.

Funding Notes

Funding is available from the Bragg Centre for Materials Research for 3.5 years and covers the cost of academic fees at the UK/EU rate (currently £4,500 per year for 2019/20) and provides a stipend at EPSRC rates (currently £15,009 per year for 2019/20).

How good is research at University of Leeds in Physics?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 24.00

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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