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

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

We are seeking for a motivated person that understands the physiology of skeletal muscles and is enthusiastic about working in cell culture labs for creating tissue-engineered skeletal muscles in vitro from human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs).

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Key takeaways

  • Hours
    40 hr.
  • Salary indication
    Salary gross/monthly
    based on full-time
    € 2,770 - € 3,539
  • Deadline
    18 Aug 2024

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

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!

Your profile

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.

Our offer

  • 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.

Information and application

Apply by August 18th, 2024. Applications must include the following documents:

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.

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About the 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

About the organisation

The Faculty of Engineering Technology (ET) engages in education and research of Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering and Industrial Design Engineering. We enable society and industry to innovate and create value using efficient, solid and sustainable technology. We are part of a ‘people-first' university of technology, taking our place as an internationally leading center for smart production, processes and devices in five domains: Health Technology, Maintenance, Smart Regions, Smart Industry and Sustainable Resources. Our faculty is home to about 2,900 Bachelor's and Master's students, 550 employees and 150 PhD candidates. Our educational and research programmes are closely connected with UT research institutes Mesa+ Institute, TechMed Center and Digital Society Institute.

Want to know more

Sartori, M. (Massimo)

Sartori, M. (Massimo)
Full Professor and Chair of Neuromuscular Robotics

Sartori, M. (Massimo)
Full Professor and Chair of Neuromuscular Robotics

Do you have questions about this vacancy? Then you can contact Massimo for all substantive questions about this position and the application procedure. For general questions about working for the UT, please refer to the chatbot.

How to apply

Step 1

When you see a vacancy that appeals to you, you can apply online. We ask you to upload a CV and motivation letter and/or list of publications. You will receive a confirmation of receipt by e-mail.

Apply now

Step 2

The selection committee will review your application and you will receive a response within 2 weeks after the vacancy has been closed.

Step 3

1st interview.
The 1st (online or in person) meeting serves as an introduction where we introduce ourselves to you and you to us. You may be asked to give a short presentation. This will be further explained in the invitation.

Step 4

2nd interview.
In the second interview, we will further discuss the job content, your skills and your talents.

Step 5

The offer.
If the conversations are positive, you will be made a suitable offer. If applicable, we will sign you up for screening.

Your Colleagues

About The Faculty ET

Curious about what the Faculty of Engineering Technology (ET) stands for? Check out the ET website for more information.

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