Research Studentship in Experimental Cell Mechanics

3.5-year D.Phil studentship, available from October 2016 (subject to eligibility requirements below).


Research Area

The studentship is part of the project "Electrophysiological-mechanical coupled pulses in neural membranes: a new paradigm for clinical therapy of SCI and TBI (NeuroPulse), which aims at developing and utilising state of the art modelling and experimental approaches for the study of electrophysiological and mechanical coupling in a healthy and mechanically damaged axon, nerve and eventually spinal cord and brain white matter tract. More specifically, the project will aim at: a) evaluating the role of this newly identified electrophysiological-mechanical coupling in pulses in TBI/SCI related functional deficits and, as a pilot application: b) at posing the basis for the design of a device leveraging this coupling for spinal cord pain management by cancelling effect (and reversibly, for signal enhancement). Both objectives will considerably benefit the medical community in the diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment of TBI and SCI, while providing new avenues for non-invasive electrophysiological control.

The student will focus on the experimental programme in collaboration with the Department of Physics and will aim at designing an experimental setup for the measurements of mechanical vibrations in electrically excited neurons, and vice versa. S/he will be a member of the Computational Mechanics of Materials Group and will be supervised by Professor Antoine Jerusalem and Dr Majid Malboubi. Further information on the group can be found at http://jerugroup.eng.ox.ac.uk).


Award Value and Eligibility

This studentship will cover full fees (for three years) and stipend (for 3.5 years) for Home students at the EPSRC rate (£14,057 in 2015-16, TBA for 2016-17), but only full fees for EU students; Overseas applicants are not eligible.


Candidate Requirements

Prospective candidates will be judged according to how well they meet the following criteria:

  • A first class honours degree in Engineering, Physic or Experimental Biology;
  • Experience in cell mechanics;
  • Excellent understanding of the concepts of mechanics and dynamics;
  • Excellent English written and spoken communication skills;
  • Excellent track of collaborative work

 The following skills are desirable but not essential:

  •  Ability to do cell culture;
  •  Ability to perform mechanical experiments;
  •  Ability to program and perform simulations.

 
Application Procedure

To apply for this studentship, candidates should send the following documents to postgraduate.studies@eng.ox.ac.uk:

  • CV
  • Covering letter (explaining your suitability for the study, what you hope to achieve from the DPhil and your research experience to date)
  • Contact details for two academic or professional referees

 

NOTE: Candidates are expected to meet the graduate admissions criteria available at http://www.eng.ox.ac.uk/study-here/postgraduate/admissions-criteria

 and a full graduate application must be made at the same time as applying for this studentship.  Your studentship application will not be considered until you have submitted a graduate application. Further details about making a graduate application are available at www.eng.ox.ac.uk/study-here/postgraduate/how-to-apply

Please quote this code: NeuroPulse_Dhil1 in all correspondence to the Department and in your graduate application.

Informal enquiries may be addressed to Prof. Jerusalem (antoine.jerusalem@eng.ox.ac.uk). Please note that applications sent directly to this email address will not be accepted. 

Application deadline:  15th March, 2016