Application Deadline: June 15, 2021 (23h59 GMT+01:00)
Job Description: PhD student Position aiming at the development of Astrocytic Tissue Engineered Models – Dissecting the role of the extracellular matrix mechanical properties towards the astrocytes’ phenotype
The research project will focus on the development of a tissue engineered in vitro model, exploring bioprinting approaches, to study the impact the extracellular matrix mechanical properties on astrocyte behaviour in the context of homeostasis and disease. Furthermore, the successful candidate is expected to dissect the mechanotransduction mechanisms involved in astrocyte behaviour modulation.
The PhD student position is part of a European ITN network consisting of 15 PhD students enrolled at different universities and institutes across Europe called ASTROTECH (http://www.astrotechproject.eu ). ASTROTECH is a multidisciplinary Training Network aiming at obtaining a more complete understanding of brain function and dysfunction, leveraging on the fast-growing recognition of the importance of glial signalling. ASTROTECH will implement “training-through-research” by the development and application of innovative technologies & methodologies, targeting the monitoring, the study, and the manipulation of the function of glial cells called astrocytes and their role and interaction with neurons at multiple scales: from intracellular and subcellular synaptic level, to cellular and neural circuits to behaviour, in both time and space.
The ASTROTECH network combines 11 beneficiaries and 14 partners belonging to 9 European and Non-EU countries. Academia, Public Research Centers and industrial labs, gather all complementary expertise needed to explore the several venues for glial interfacing offered by advanced materials, device architectures and operation, as well as for their validation to manipulate glial cell function. The 9 academic and public research Beneficiaries (CNR, IIT, CSIC, UCAM, AMU, UNIBA, INEB, INEM, BCAM) are internationally renowned for their research and training activities in the fields that they represent within ASTROTECH. The contribution of the private sector in the research & training program is pivotal for the training network, as it makes available the know-how for nanomaterial processing and device fabrication, covering advanced materials for electronic (AVANZARE) and light emitting devices (OPTOCEUTICS), as well as computational tools (CODEMART) and for expertise in translating research knowledge and technology into clinical practice (MEDTRONIC) and finally on professional development, knowledge and leadership in research management and administration (NCURA).
At INEB, the selected ESR will be hosted within the nanoBiomaterials for Targeted Therapies (nBTT) Group of i3S|INEB (https://www.i3s.up.pt/research-group?x=37 ). Our aim is to develop "smart" biomaterials, designed at the nanoscale with controlled architectures and functionalities, to provide in situ and in a targeted manner the required signals to promote tissue repair and restoration of function. The nBTT is part of the i3S (www.i3s.up.pt ), the Institute for Research and Innovation for Health. The i3S is dedicated to research and innovation in basic, applied and translational Health and Life sciences. It focuses on 3 research programs: Cancer; Host Interaction and Response; Neurobiology and Neurologic disorders. The transdisciplinarity of the programs allows to address questions at the molecular and cellular basis of living systems, mechanisms underlying disease and promotes the development of novel tools for screening, diagnostic and therapeutic strategies. The i3S core facilities provide access to advanced equipment for research in several fields (https://www.i3s.up.pt/scientific-platforms ). Furthermore, i3S fosters continuous advanced trainings for scientists and implements annual educational and outreach activities to close the gap between science and society.
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