PhD Studentship: Investigation of Complex Neuronal Circuits as Models for Stem Cell Therapeutics

Loughborough University

Application details:
Reference number: CM-CDT4/PR2/2017
Start date: 1st October 2017

Primary supervisor: Paul Roach
Secondary supervisor: Alexandra Stolzing

Loughborough University is a top-ten rated university in England for research intensity (REF2014) and an outstanding 66% of the work of Loughborough’s academic staff who were eligible to be submitted to the REF was judged as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’, compared to a national average figure of 43%.

In choosing Loughborough for your research, you’ll work alongside academics who are leaders in their field. You will benefit from comprehensive support and guidance from our Graduate School, including tailored careers advice, to help you succeed in your research and future career.

Find out more:

Project Detail:
This project is part of an ambitious 5-student centre for doctoral training at Loughborough University within the area of brain-on-a-chip technologies.

There is an urgent need for research into neurodegenerative diseases, however our lack of understanding of complex brain circuitry restricts modelling and evaluation for future healthcare strategies. This project will advance current brain-on-a-chip devices, using micro-fabrication technologies to precisely engineer complex living neural circuits. Multiple cellular components will be manipulated in culture to define an artificial living neuronal cell circuit mimicking those involved in known aging neuropathologies. The complexity of the tissue will be designed specifically to enable control cellular connectivity. These will be used as functional models for comparison between healthy and diseased tissue, enabling evaluation of therapeutic strategies within treated segments of the neural circuit and the network as a whole. Real-time and long-term evaluation will provide an evidence-base for a step-changing pre-clinical screening method.

This is a highly interdisciplinary opportunity for researchers interested in developing skills within a specified discipline whilst working and contributing across a discipline boundary. This PhD team will bring together researchers from different disciplines: biologists, chemists, mathematicians, and material engineers.

Entry requirements:
Applicants should have, or expect to achieve, at least a 2:1 Honours degree (or equivalent) in a related subject. 

Funding information:
Studentships will be funded through an EPSRC DTP. This 42 month project will be part of a 5-student cohort, working collaboratively to deliver specific goals. Each studentship will be further enhanced by a DTP-specific induction and additional training around impact.  The studentship consists of a tax-free stipend of £14,553 per annum, plus UK/EU tuition fees. Additional funds via a Research Training Support Grant will support, e.g. conference attendance. Due to funding restrictions, this is only available to those who are eligible to pay UK/EU fees. In order to qualify for a full award, all applicants must meet the EPSRC eligibility criteria including the minimum UK residency requirement

Contact details:
Name: Dr Paul Roach
Email address:

How to apply:
All applications should be made online at Under programme name, select Chemistry.

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Midlands of England