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The interfascicular matrix niche – novel approaches to identify the aetiology of tendinopathy

About This PhD Project

Project Description

Tendon injuries (tendinopathies) are increasingly common, highly debilitating and recalcitrant. Tendinopathy is cell driven in response to overload, so successful development of pharmaceutical treatments must first establish the mechanotransduction pathways driving disease, to identify likely targets. This project utilises organ-on-a-chip approaches to enable a first detailed exploration into the mechanobiology of specific tendon cell sub-populations, investigating cell interplay, to identify the pathways driving tendon injury.

This project will be carried out in the groups of Professors Hazel Screen and Martin Knight at QMUL, in collaboration with Dr Graham Riley at the University of East Anglia. The successful candidate will be working within our new QM-Emulate Organs-on-chips centre with extensive cell culture facilities and supported by a multidisciplinary team of post docs and PhD students. We will carry out the first phenotyping of the tendon cell populations, in addition to establishing the first tendon-on-a-chip co-culture model for exploring physiology and pathology.

We are looking for an individual with a solid training in cell biology, bioengineering or related subject and the ability to learn about mechanobiology, tendon and organ-on-a-chip technology.

EPSRC Research Studentship Details
To be eligible for a full award (stipend and fees) applicants must have:
• settled status in the UK, meaning they have no restrictions on how long they can stay and
• been ‘ordinarily resident’ in the UK for 3 years prior to October 2020. This means they must have been normally residing in the UK
(apart from temporary or occasional absences and
• Not been residing in the UK wholly or mainly for the purpose of full-time education (This does not apply to UK nationals).
(See: https://epsrc.ukri.org/skills/students/help/eligibility/ for more details)
• Full Time programme only.
• Applicant required to start in September 2020.
• The studentship arrangement will cover tuition fees and provide an annual stipend for up to three years (Currently set as £17,009 in
• The minimum requirement for this studentship opportunity is a good Honours degree (minimum 2(i) honours or equivalent) or
MSc/MRes in a relevant discipline.
• If English is not your first language you will require a valid English certificate equivalent to IELTS 6.5+ overall with a minimum score
of 6.0 in Writing and 5.5 in all sections (Reading, Listening, Speaking).

Supervisor Contact Details
For informal enquiries about this position, please contact Professor Hazel Screen
Tel: 020 7882 6167

Application Method
To apply for this studentship and for entry on to the Medical Engineering programme (Full Time) please follow the instructions detailed on the following webpage:

Research degrees in Engineering:

Further Guidance: http://www.qmul.ac.uk/postgraduate/research/

Please be sure to include a reference to ‘2020 SEMS EPSRC DTP HRCS’ to associate your application with this studentship opportunity.

Deadline for applications: 31st January 2020

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