PhD Position in Characterization of structural remodelling in tissue-engineered human skeletal muscles in vitro during multi...

PhD Position in Characterization of structural remodelling in tissue-engineered human skeletal muscles in vitro during multi...

Published Deadline Location
21 Jun 18 Aug Enschede

Job description

Job Description

Are you interested in laying down the basis for developing breakthrough regenerative robotic technologies for restoring movement following neuromuscular injuries such as stroke? Are you passionate about investigating how skeletal muscles remodel their biological structure when exposed to electrical and mechanical stimuli over multiple weeks? Are you interested in doing so by combining advanced in vitro techniques for tissue-engineering muscles from human induced pluripotent stem cells together with computational modelling techniques?

The Neuro-Mechanical Modeling and Engineering Lab is seeking for an outstanding PhD candidate fellow to work within our new Project ROBOREACTOR funded by the prestigious European Research Council (Consolidator Grant). You will join an international team working on a novel and ambitious project at the frontiers of muscle neurophysiology, muscle tissue regeneration and regenerative robotics.

The Opening
We are also looking for someone who will design four-week eccentric training protocols for pacing the tissue-engineered muscles and analyze how these tissues remodel their morphology over time e.g., genesis of sarcomeres (i.e., in parallel and in series), phenotype (i.e., fiber type transition between fast and slow types), and changes in tissue force-generating capacity.

We are also looking for somebody who can learn to use computational modelling to predict how tissue-engineered muscles remodel during the 4-week eccentric training.

Your Tasks
  • Design and conduct 4-week in vitro experiments on tissue-engineered skeletal muscle to mimic eccentric muscle training, incorporating both electrical and mechanical pacing.
  • To characterize structural remodelling in the tissue-engineered muscles. This implies the ability of characterizing changes in tissue force-generating capacity, morphology, phenotype and myotrophic factors.
  • Use the gathered data to establish computational models of muscle structural remodelling.

Your work will be facilitated by in-house expertise and mentorship. You will collaborate with top-scientists on aspects including muscle-on-a-chip and statistical modelling, giving large opportunity to perform impactful research!

Specifications

University of Twente (UT)

Requirements

Your profile requires experience with:
  • Cell culture for engineering muscle tissues in vitro from human or animal muscle precursor cells.
  • Tissue analysis techniques such as histological analyses, qPCR, staining, and microscopy. The ROBOREACTOR scientific team is available to help the candidate consolidate their tissue engineering skills.
  • Computational modeling of muscle force generation (e.g., Hill type muscle mode)
  • Computational modeling of muscle structural remodelling (e.g., via AI or mechanistic models such as agent based).
  • Programming and coding in Matlab, Python and C++.
  • Interpersonal and organizational skills, with high motivation and both oral, as well as written communication abilities
  • Coordinating undergraduate and graduate students.
  • Proficient in written and oral English.

Conditions of employment

  • A full-time 4-year position.
  • A starting salary of € 2770,- gross per month in the first year and increasing to € 3539,- gross per month in the fourth year.
  • A good pension scheme.
  • A holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary and a year-end bonus of 8.3%A minimum of 29 holidays per year in case of full-time employment.
  • Professional and personal development programs.
  • Access to Neuromechanics and Tissue Engineering outstanding facilities.
  • Proximity to Enschede, a mid-size city with a large social offer, immersed in the nature of the Twente region.
  • Fun work atmosphere with social lab retreats.

Department

ERC Consolidator Grant ROBOREACTOR: Is it possible to regenerate new, healthy biological tissues in the human body after neuro-muscular injuries such as a stroke? Can we develop intelligent robots that autonomously discovers the electro-mechanical stimuli needed for skeletal muscles (and its innervating spinal motor neurons) to regenerate over time, potentially outperforming conventional rehabilitation? These are some of the questions my team and I will address in the coming 5 years. We will do that by proposing radically new sensor-driven, AI-powered computational models to predict structural remodelling in the skeletal muscle across large time scales i.e., weeks to months. We'll use these predictive models to command rehabilitation robots closed-loop control key muscle adaptation and remodelling both in vitro and in vivo.

Project Web Page

European Research Council (ERC)'s mission is to encourage the highest quality research in Europe through competitive funding and to support the best of the best in Europe's frontiers research

Additional information

Apply by August 18th, 2024. Applications must include the following documents:
  • A video (2-minute max) describing your scientific interests and why you want to apply for this position.
  • A cover letter (1-page max) specifying how your experience and skills match the position as well as summarizing work in your masters.
  • A CV including English proficiency level, nationality, visa requirements, date of birth, experience overview, and publication list.
  • Contact information for at least two academic references. A support letter will be requested only if your application is considered.

The first interview will take place in the week of September the 2nd. Start of the contract is expected as soon as possible and no later than December 2024. For questions, please contact Prof. Massimo Sartori, mail: m.sartori@utwente.nl. Please, only apply via the web platform and not via email.

Specifications

  • PhD
  • Engineering
  • max. 40 hours per week
  • €2770—€3539 per month
  • University graduate
  • 1829

Employer

University of Twente (UT)

Learn more about this employer

Location

Drienerlolaan 5, 7522NB, Enschede

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Application procedure

Application procedure

Make sure to apply no later than 18 Aug 2024 23:59 (Europe/Amsterdam).