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Tissue engineering a retinal patch using stem cell-derived photoreceptors to treat retinal dystrophy

About This PhD Project

Project Description

A 3-year PhD Studentship funded by National Institute for Health Research Great Ormond Street Hospital Biomedical Research Centre (NIHR GOSH BRC) is available within the Developmental Biology and Cancer programme at UCL GOS Institute of Child Health and within the ‘Advanced Treatments for Structural Malformation and Tissue Damage’ research theme within the GOSH BRC. The project available will start in October 2020.

The NIHR GOSH BRC funds early translational (experimental medicine) research, which aims to translate discoveries from basic/discovery science into clinical research and through to patient benefit and economic benefit. GOSH and the ICH were first awarded BRC status by the NIHR in 2007. In 2016, the GOSH BRC secured £37 million to take it into its third term, which will run from April 2017 to March 2022. Our research aims to accelerate discoveries into the basis of childhood rare diseases and to develop new diagnostics, imaging techniques and treatments, including cellular and gene therapies. Research activities within the BRC are organised through four major research themes.

The BRC ‘Advanced Treatments for Structural Malformation and Tissue Damage’ theme aims to pioneer advanced treatments for children with congenital malformations and tissue damage, for whom there are currently few or no therapeutic options. The theme brings together specialists in paediatric surgery, developmental and stem cell biology, regenerative medicine, tissue engineering and device development to build a unique expertise to facilitate the development of innovative treatments based on successful proof-of-concept. The current research portfolio includes the development of surgical devices, tissue engineering and organ reconstruction and experimental medicine approaches using patient-, embryonic- and foetal-derived stem cells that we aim to bring to clinical application.

We are seeking a creative and highly motivated PhD student to work on a tissue-engineering project aiming to tissue engineer a retinal patch using stem cell-derived photoreceptors to treat retinal dystrophy. Supervised by Professor Jane Sowden and Professor Nicola Elvassore. Further details of the project can be found in the Project Description -

Applicants should have, or expect to receive a first class or upper second class degree. The student will receive a starting stipend of £17,285 per annum (including London weighting) as well as the cost of tuition fees for UK/EU students (applicants from non-EU countries can apply but will have to personally fund the difference between the home/EU rate and the overseas rate), and £5000 contribution towards the running costs of their project.

UCL is London’s leading multidisciplinary university. In the recent 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF2014) UCL was rated the top university in the UK for research strength and the best research environment.

To apply, please send your completed application form available from the UCL GOS Institute of Child Health website - - and a current CV including the contact details of two professional referees, as well as a cover letter to . Enquiries regarding the post can be made to Professor Jane Sowden, .

Deadline for receipt of applications: Monday 6th April 2020
Interview date: End of April 2020 (and possibly a second round of interviews - date TBC)
Studentship start date: October 2020

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