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PhD Studentship - Cartilage Regenerative Medicine – Harnessing Multimodal Label-free Imaging-based Bioanalysis to change cartilage repair.

Chemical Biology, Diagnostics & Therapeutics

Location:  Highfield Campus
Closing Date:  Friday 31 December 2021
Reference:  1594021EB

Supervisory Team:    Prof Sumeet Mahajan, Prof Richard Oreffo, Dr Rahul Tare

Project description

Osteoarthritis is a major public health issue globally and is characterised by degeneration of the cartilage in freely-movable joints. Currently there are no treatments and, since cartilage is an avascular tissue, in vivo regeneration is not feasible. The use of stem cells for cell-based therapies is currently one of the most exciting and promising areas for cartilage regeneration. Strategies to generate cartilage tissue are established within the team (Jonnalagadda et al https://doi.org/10.1039/C7LC01195D; Li et al https://doi.org/10.1039/C4LC00956H and https://doi.org/10.1177/0885328214548604). Here we will explore their growth, regeneration and therapeutic potential by in situ monitoring in a living system (see Marshall et al 2020 https://doi.org/10.1177/2041731420942734). 

Despite the advancements in tissue-engineering approaches, the methods to assess the health of the growing tissue are invasive, destructive and often unsuitable for live in situ analysis. We have recently shown that label-free multimodal imaging techniques are promising  for non-destructive, information-rich and live assessment of stem cell generated neo-cartilage (Moura el al. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-41466-w and https://doi.org/10.1039/c8ib00050f). These include techniques based on Raman and Coherent anti-Stokes Raman spectroscopy (CARS), together with second harmonic generation (SHG) microscopy. In the project these may be combined with computational analysis (incl. using Artificial Intelligence) to establish a method for in vivo analysis, directly (in situ) inside a living system – providing a new and exciting step change towards clinical translation. 

In this exciting fully-funded interdisciplinary PhD opportunity the student will learn and develop advanced spectroscopy and imaging techniques, image analysis, stem cell biology and skeletal tissue engineering approaches. A background or strong interest one or more of the following areas of analytical spectroscopy, microscopy and imaging techniques, stem cell culture and image analysis is highly desirable. Training in all areas of the PhD as well as opportunities for professional development will be available but enthusiasm to work in a dynamic and interdisciplinary collaborative environment is desirable. 

If you wish to discuss any details of the project informally, please contact Prof. Sumeet Mahajan, Email: s.mahajan@soton.ac.uk.

Entry Requirements

An undergraduate degree (at least a UK 2:1 honours degree or equivalent) in Chemistry, Biochemistry, Biomedical Sciences, Bioengineering and allied subjects/relevant disciplines. Enthusiasm to work in an interdisciplinary environment with a strong interest in analytical spectroscopy, novel microscopy and imaging techniques is highly desirable. Training in all areas of the PhD and professional development opportunities will be provided. 

Closing date: As soon as a suitable candidate is found but no later than 31st Dec for standard entry in Jan 2022

Funding: The project is fully funded for 3.5 years. Full tuition plus, for UK students, an enhanced stipend of £15,285 tax-free per annum for up to 3.5 years will be provided. 

How To Apply

Applications should be made online selecting “PhD Chemistry (Full time)” as the programme. Please enter Sumeet Mahajan under the Topic or Field of Research.

Applications should include

Personal Statement 

Curriculum Vitae

Two reference letters

Degree Transcripts to date

Apply online: https://www.southampton.ac.uk/courses/how-to-apply/postgraduate-applications.page

 

For further information please contact: feps-pgr-apply@soton.ac.uk 

 

 

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