Funded PhD Studentships Engineering the development of haematopoietic cell populations in in vitro production systems

Application Deadline: Friday 22 November 2013

Supervisory Team: Dr Robert Thomas (with possible inter/intra University co-supervision)

The Project:

Haematopoietic (blood lineage) cells have many therapeutic uses. Immature stem cells are transplanted to treat blood cancers such as leukaemia, intermediate progenitor populations can be used to provide short term immunity cover, and mature cells such as red cells and platelets are transfused in vast numbers globally due to traumatic injury, surgery, or medical conditions such as haemoglobinopathies. All of this clinical material currently relies on donors, with associated logistical challenges of donor recruitment, collection, distribution, disease screening and shelf-life management. Despite great progress in the in vitro culture and processing of human cells over recent decades, there is still no manufactured alternative to these donated haematopoietic products. I am seeking highly motivated PhD students to work as part of an EPSRC Fellowship team to develop hematopoietic cell based processes with particular foci of control strategies for lineage and phenotype maintenance and culture productivity improvement. These challenges together currently inhibit the reproducible and cost-effective manufacture of therapeutic haematopoietic cell populations. The research will entail experience of many quantitative methods of cell analysis such as flow cytometry and rt-PCR and their integration with different process models. The research will be conducted in a new state-of-the-art lab complex and is integrated with a national research centre and postgraduate training programme for the development of cell based therapy and regenerative medicine manufacturing. The project is inherently interdisciplinary and is suitable for engineering or physical science graduates with a desire to apply their skills to a biological challenge, or to bioscience graduates with a desire to develop engineering skills and work in an interdisciplinary team.

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Entry Requirements:

A first or upper second class primary degree, or a distinction in a postgraduate Masters degree, in a relevant biological or engineering discipline

Funding: UK/EU students will receive £13,726 per year tax free plus cover of tuition fees. Due to funding arrangements, International student scholarships are awarded to the value of £10,554 per year towards fees.

Making your Application:

Please contact Dr Thomas ( with a brief CV and to arrange a time to discuss your application before applying via the University’s online application system.

To review the application process please visit the website by clicking the Apply link below.

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