Research Doctoral Scholarship Microfluidic Tool for Cell Line Creation

An enhanced stipend of £15,000 per annum is offered to a strong candidate for a full time PhD scholarship within the Technology Futures Institute, Teesside University.  The scholarship is funded by Teesside University with support from Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies, and will be for three years, subject to satisfactory progress.

Significance of the work: Monoclonal antibodies (mAb) form the majority (by sales) of biologic drug products on the market with the market set to grow significantly. The existing approach for the development of a mAb is complex , time consuming and costly. A critical step is to create recombinant mammalian cell lines expressing the product at the desired quality and quantity.  Current approaches rely on generation of large numbers of recombinant cells (10’s of thousands) which are screened using microtitre plates/shake flask culture to isolate the desired clone. This project will involve the design and development of a microfluidic system that will support the selection of mAb producing Chinese Hamster Ovary (CHO) cells from a pool of transfected CHO cells and to grow and isolate these. The project offers a motivated and ambitious PhD candidate the opportunity to enter an important area of research with a leading biotherapeutics company.

The supervisory team will include Prof Zulfiqur Ali (Teesside University) and Dr Bo Kara (Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies).

Location: Based at Teesside University and Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies

Entry Requirements:

Applicants should hold or expect to obtain a good honours degree (2.1 or above) and/or Masters level qualification in a biological, physical science or engineering discipline.  It is desirable that applicants have experience in one or more of the following:

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  • Cell biology, mammalian and or microbial cell culture
  • Chemical and biological assay techniques, e.g. ELISA
  • Computer aided design and computer aided manufacturing
  • Instrumentation and data acquisition
  • Cleanroom processes including photolithography

Although we can accept applications from students outside of the European Union, the funding will only cover a home student fee.  The difference between the home and international student fee would be payable by the applicant.

Application forms and further details on the project can be obtained from the Graduate Research School

(Tel: Lorraine: 01642 384438;

For informal enquiries, please contact Prof. Zulfiqur Ali (

Closing Date: 18th July 2013, 4.30pm

Interviews will take place on 25th July 2013

The Scholarship is expected to start in October 2013.

To apply click on the ‘Apply’ button below.                

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