PhD studentship: Combining advancing imaging and whole systems ecotoxicology for identifying the toxicological features of nanomaterials


Supervisors: Professor Charles R. Tyler, Professor Tamara Galloway, Dr Tetsu Kudoh and Dr Julian Moger

We are inviting applications for this EPSRC funded PhD studentship to commence as soon as possible. For eligible students the award will cover UK/EU tuition fees and an annual stipend (in 2013/14 this will be £13,726 for full-time students, pro rata for part-time students) and research costs for three years for students who meet the eligibility requirements outlined by EPSRC (see Students from EU countries who do not meet the residency requirements may still be eligible for a fees-only award. Students from outside of the EU would not be eligible for this award.

This project is one of a number that are in competition for funding. Studentships will be awarded on the basis of merit.

Successful applicants will be based within Biosciences (Streatham Campus, Exeter) at the College of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Exeter.

Nanotechnology is currently worth $billions worldwide. Understanding the risks nanomaterials (NMs) pose to human and environmental health is fundamental for the sustainable development of nanotechnology industry. Unique properties (e.g. surface reactivity) exhibited at the nanoscale and exploited for use in these industries have the potential to drive toxicity through novel mechanisms of action. Bioavailability and biological effects of NMs, however, have been hampered by the lack of suitable methodology for tracing particle uptake and identifying tissue localization within exposed organisms.

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This studentship offers an exciting project that will test the hypothesis that specific physic-chemical features of metal/metal oxide NMs determine their bioavailability and bioreactivity. The project will include the application of advanced imaging methods (e.g. Coherent Anti-Stokes Raman Scattering (CARS)) to trace uptake and tissue localisation for a range of metal/metal oxide NMs of different composition and sizes in a range of model aquatic organisms for realistic exposure scenarios. This imaging method has been used and applied successfully at Exeter by one of the supervisors on this studentship (Dr Moger) with excellent results. Be-spoke NMs for this work will be obtained through our current industry and European partnerships.

The successful candidate will thus receive an extensive and interdisciplinary training in molecular biology, advanced imaging, ecotoxicology, and fish physiology. S/he will join a large, vibrant research team with first class infrastructure and significant available resources for the work proposed. The project is strongly supported by links with nanotechnology industry groups, including through BASF and the Nanotechnology Industries Association, that will greatly strengthen the applied relevance of this studentship to industry. Furthermore, the research teams involved have close links with regulatory bodies, including defra and the Environment Agency, further enhancing employment prospects for the successful candidate.

You must have obtained, or be about to obtain, a First or Upper Second Class UK Honours degree, or the equivalent qualifications gained outside the UK, in a relevant subject.

The closing date for applications is midnight on 8th September 2013. 

For full project details, instructions on how to apply and a link to the application form, go to the apply button below.

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