PhD studentship: University of Strathclyde; BME

Spatially patterned vascular cell co-cultures for combined electrical-optical monitoring of cell-cell communication.

A studentship for a 36-month, full-time, fully-funded PhD, supported by the University of Strathclyde is available. It will focus on the development of a new approach to dynamically monitoring vascular cell-cell communication by creating a novel electroanalytical microdevice with spatial cell patterning capability.

Opens: Immediately
Deadline: 27th April
Duration: 36 months
Funding: fully funded for UK/EU students only (EU students who have live in the UK for three or more years)
Funding towards: Fees and stipend
Funding details: The successful applicants will receive a monthly stipend (in line with standard stipend levels).

Project Details:

Building upon previous expertise, this project will employ a combination of microfabrication and surface functionalisation techniques to create an electroanalytical microdevice with spatially controlled vascular cell populations. It will enable simultaneous electrical-optical cell monitoring and will be used to characterise communication between cell populations, with modes of cellular communication teased apart by systematically controlling cell-cell interactions. This will provide novel mechanistic insights into cardiovascular disease and a well-characterised in vitro model of vascular cell-cell communication suitable for upscaling into an array format for multiplexed, label-free drug screening.

The student will be joining a vibrant research group with strong clinical and industry links. The project will provide the opportunity to develop expertise in a wide range of both engineering and cell biology techniques, including microfabrication and lab-on-a-chip techniques, electrochemical sensors, vascular cell isolation and culture, and live-cell imaging.


Further details:

This studentship will commence on 1st October 2017.


The candidate must have or be about to receive a first or an upper second (2.1) class UK BEng/BSc Hons or MEng/MSc degree in a relevant engineering/physical sciences or biology subject. If the student is from a biological background they must also demonstrate an interest and ability to work on a technology-oriented project. The student should be highly motivated, independent, with strong problem solving abilities and the ability to work as part of a team. Previous experience in either microengineering systems or cell culture methods would be advantageous.

How to Apply:

Candidates interested in applying should email Dr Sandison their CV, with contact details for at least two academic referees, and a covering letter outlining their suitability for the project. and Dr Chris McCormick (