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SWBio DTP PhD project: Automated T-cell expansion in an integrated bioelectronics microfluidic chip: paving the way for personalised T-cell therapies for blood cancer

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Monday, December 02, 2019
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

This project is one of a number that are in competition for funding from the South West Biosciences Doctoral Training Partnership (SWBio DTP). The DTP offers an interdisciplinary research training programme delivered by a consortium comprising the Universities of Bath, Bristol and Exeter, Cardiff University and Rothamsted Research, alongside six regional associate partners: Marine Biological Association, Plymouth Marine Laboratory, Swansea University, UCB Pharma, University of the West of England and SETsquared Bristol. The partnership has a strong track record in advancing knowledge through high quality research and teaching, in collaboration with industry and government. For more information about the DTP, see

Studentships are available for entry in September/October 2020.

All SWBio DTP projects will follow a structured 4-year PhD model, combining traditional project-focussed studies with a taught first year which includes directed rotation projects.

Overview of this PhD project:

Lead supervisor:
Dr Mirella Di Lorenzo, Department of Chemical Engineering (University of Bath)
Dr Lucia Marucci (University of Bristol)
Dr Sandhya Moise, Department of Chemical Engineering (University of Bath)
Dr Despina Moschou, Department of Electronic & Electrical Engineering (University of Bath)

The future of healthcare and advanced therapies will shift toward the delivery of more precise, personalised medicines, where patients are treated as individuals rather than receiving single ‘one-size-fits all’ treatment. The patient will be at the centre of the healthcare system with tailored solutions that adapt to individual patient needs. Nevertheless, unless novel manufacturing systems are developed, this scientific potential will not be realised. Current manufacturing systems are not suitable for patient-specific healthcare applications, as they are incapable of delivering therapies of sufficient precision and quality.

Supervised by an interdisciplinary team of academics, with expertise at the interface of Engineering, Material Science, Life Sciences with Stem Cell Biology, the PhD student carrying out the proposed research will develop an innovative platform for monitoring and controlling, in real time, mammalian cell (specifically T lymphocyte) proliferation and growth. This platform will allow the automation and refining of T cells culture conditions; thanks to an enhanced precision, robustness and control of the process, outcomes of this project could markedly advance the manufacture of cell-based therapies.

The project outputs can impact additional fields of research including, but not limited to, biosensing, drug delivery and other stem cell/immunotherapy bioprocesses. At its core, the innovation of this project lies at the interface between multiple disciplines that allows to combine, for the first time, novel biomanufacturing with electronic engineering and mathematics, to develop a Tcell manufacturing platform for robust treatment of chronic, life-threatening and debilitating conditions, such as cancer.

Candidate requirements:

Applicants must have obtained, or be about to obtain, a First or Upper Second Class UK Honours degree, or the equivalent qualifications gained outside the UK, in an appropriate area of science or technology.

How to apply:

Applications should be submitted on the University of Bath’s online application form for a PhD in Biosciences:

Please ensure that you quote the supervisor’s name and project title in the ‘Your research interests’ section. You may apply for more than one project if you wish but you should submit a separate personal statement relevant to each one.

More information about applying for a PhD at Bath may be found on our website:

Funding Notes

Studentships provide funding for a stipend at the standard UKRI rate (currently £15,009 per annum, 2019/20 rate), research and training costs and UK/EU tuition fees for 4 years.

UK and EU applicants who have been residing in the UK since September 2017 will be eligible for a full award; a limited number of studentships may be available to EU applicants who do not meet the residency requirement. Applicants who are classed as Overseas for tuition fee purposes are not eligible for funding.

How good is research at University of Bath in Aeronautical, Mechanical, Chemical and Manufacturing Engineering?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 61.00

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

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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