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University Funded PhD studentship in Biomedical Engineering, Liverpool John Moores University

 Liverpool John Moores University  Liverpool
Carbosense: Development of heparin-type-carbohydrate sensors for open heart surgery and beyond

Project description
Cardiovascular disease is the most common cause of death in the Western world. Heparins are blockbuster carbohydrate pharmaceuticals used to prevent blood clotting (anticoagulation) during cardiac surgery and treatment of acute cardiovascular disease. As anticoagulants, they are high-risk drugs and the leading drug associated with dosing errors. Monitoring their dose, biological response and neutralisation during and after administration is of critical importance to avoid potentially fatal complications during surgery. Currently, heparin is monitored in whole blood at point-of-care indirectly via its effect on blood clotting. However, these current clotting tests possess important limitations. Furthermore, heparin and related carbohydrates are also being investigated for use as pharmaceuticals for other major diseases or as endogenous biomarkers for diagnosis/prognosis.

Following from initial studies, this interdisciplinary project involves adaptation of electromagnetic wave sensor equipment to directly detect heparins and their effect on blood-clotting and clotting proteins. Fluorescent chemical heparin probes will also be constructed and tested. Detection of other similar types of carbohydrates will also be investigated. To enable success, the student will be supervised by a team of academics (Drs Powell, Giuntini, Mason and Korostynska) across the Faculty of Science and the Faculty of Engineering and Technology who possess expertise in carbohydrate biochemistry/technology development, sensor engineering and chemical probes.

The student will receive a stipend in line with the RCUK rates (e.g. £14,296 in year 1) and tuition fees (UK/EU rate only) will be waived and there will be a contribution to research costs of £1,500 per year.

Liverpool John Moores University offers a comprehensive development program for postgraduate researchers (https://www2.ljmu.ac.uk/RGSO/training/index.htm) and is championing the Liverpool ‘Sensor City’ programme. Liverpool was recently names as one of the top 3 cities to visit in the world by Rough Guide and voted the most cultural city in the UK by Group Leisure. As a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, the first UK city outside London to be awarded the famous Blue Plaques by English Heritage and previously The European Capital of Culture, the city offers blockbuster exhibitions, super-sized street theatre and world-class music festivals that have catapulted the city onto the world stage. From the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, the oldest symphony orchestra in the UK, to the world-conquering Beatles, two internationally-famous football teams, and more galleries and museums than any UK city outside of London, plus an eclectic social scene of cinemas, bars and restaurants, Liverpool is an inspirational place to work and study. 

How to apply:
Applicants are expected to be a highly motivated individual possessing at least an upper second class (2:1) undergraduate honours degree (or Master’s degree if possessing a 2.2 undergraduate degree) in a suitable discipline, such as Sensor Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, Electronics, Chemistry, Chemical Physics, Biophysics or related fields. Although not essential, previous practical experience in electromagnetic wave sensors would be beneficial.

The funding is open to UK/EU applicants only and the student must be enrolled by 2nd December, 2016.

Applications should be submitted electronically, by 5 pm (local time) on the Monday 10th October, 2016 to Dr Andrew Powell (A.Powell@ljmu.ac.uk). As an applicant, you should send:

1. A cover letter outlining your interest in this research area, and any relevant experience in the field. Please explain what makes you suitable for this position.
2. A C.V. (maximum two pages) indicating the names of two referees.
Kontakt für Bewerbungen
Email address:
0044 151 231 2487

Faculty of Science & Faculty of Engineering & Technology
Liverpool John Moores University
Byrom Street 
Liverpool, L3 3AF
United Kingdom
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