PhD Studentship: Biophysical Biomarkers to Characterize Cancer-Associated Fibroblasts in Drug Screening Strategies

Queen Mary University of London

This project aims at establishing cytoskeletal organization and mechanical properties (cytomechanics) as a biomarker for cancer diagnosis and drug screening. The project will focus on cancer-associated fibroblasts, establishing a proof-of-concept drug screen to inhibit fibroblast activation. Experiments will combine state-of-the-art biophysical tools such as Fluorescence Microscopy, Atomic Force Microscopy and Traction Force Microscopy with machine learning analysis.

The candidate will routinely:

  • Use cell culture and basic biochemical techniques.
  • Perform bioengineering experiments with diverse instrumentation such as Atomic Force Microscopy, Traction Force Microscopy and live-cell imaging.
  • Use advanced image processing algorithms for multiplex data generation and couple them to machine learning classification.

Applicants should have a BSc or MSc in Biomedical Engineering, Biophysics, Cell Biology or similar. Experience in some of these key areas is desired: cellular bioengineering, fluorescence microscopy, image processing, atomic force microscopy, cell culture. Experience with MATLAB or similar programming languages is required.

QMUL LSI Research Studentship Details

  • Available to Home/EU Applicants only.
  • Full Time programme only
  • Applicant required to start in Late September/October 2018
  • The studentship arrangement will cover tuition fees and provide an annual stipend for up to three years (Currently set as £16,553 in 2017/18).
  • The minimum requirement for this studentship opportunity is a good Honours degree (minimum 2(i) honours or equivalent) or MSc/MRes in a relevant discipline.
  • If English is not your first language then you will require a valid English certificate equivalent to IELTS 6.5+ overall with a minimum score of 6 in Writing and 5.5 in all sections (Reading, Listening, Speaking).
  • Please note that this studentship is only available to Home/EU Applicants. (See: for details)

Supervisor Contact Details:

For informal enquiries about this position, please contact Dr. Núria Gavara

Tel: 020 7882 6596


Application Method:

To apply for this studentship and for entry on to the Medical Engineering programme (Full Time) please follow the instructions detailed on the following webpage:

Further Guidance:

Please be sure to include a reference to ‘2018 SEMS LSI NG’ to associate your application with this studentship opportunity. 

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