Dear ETPN members, dear colleagues from the European Nanomedicine Community, we are pleased to share with you an open PhD position on “Functionalized Nanoparticles for Biomedical Applications” at IMDEA Nanociencia (a very active ETPN member institution) in the scope of the IDEAL COFUND Project.
P3: Nanotechnology for healthcare
PhD PROJECT DESCRIPTION
The project will explore the preparation and modification of nanoparticles for biomedical applications, such as advanced therapeutics and sensors based on nucleic acids. The nanoparticles will be based on iron oxide or gold, and will be used for different approaches. For instance, magnetic iron oxide nanoparticles will be used mainly for therapeutic approaches based on magnetic hyperthermia. The combination of the heat generated by magnetic hyperthermia and the modification of the nanoparticle (e.g., drugs, nucleic acids) will yield a powerful antitumoral synergistic effect. On the other hand, gold nanoparticles therapy will be only based on their cargo, which will be mainly based on nucleic acids (e.g., siRNAs, miRNAs, ASOs), and for the development of sensors the optical properties of gold nanoparticles will be exploited. In this case, different molecules such as nucleic acids (e.g., aptamers, oligonucleotides), antibodies or small molecule ligands, could be employed in the functionalization of gold nanoparticles to prepare the sensors.
The PhD candidate will assess the systems in extracts from cells, cell cultures, and from samples derived from patients (e.g., cells, blood)
The candidate will benefit from different collaborators of the active projects of the group where nanoparticles are employed, such as the regional project RENIM, the Spanish Society against cancer (AECC) or AFM-Telethon, among others. Through these projects, we have established collaborations with multiple institutions, including Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, Universita Cattolica del Sacro Cuore (Roma, Italy), CNIO, Hospital de la Princesa, Hospital Gregorio Marañon, CNIC, among others. Thus, the candidate will have the opportunity to participate in the meetings of the projects and collaborate with the partners.
The candidate might benefit from short research stays in the different institutions mentioned before and also from stays in companies such as Synthelia (Alcobendas, Spain) and RCL (London, UK). In these cases, the industrial/technological view of the companies will complement the academic training obtained at IMDEA Nanociencia.
Besides the training in the synthesis and modification of nanoparticles, the candidate will be trained in other skills required for the project, such as molecular and cell biology or the implementation of quality systems (e.g., ISO, GLP).
We are looking for an organic chemist, pharmacist, or related, with a master’s degree, preferably in life sciences. The candidate should have experience with standard organic chemistry techniques and be motivated to learn from different disciplines, including material science and biology. Previous experience with nanoparticles is welcome. In addition, the candidate should have good writing, analytical, organization and communication skills. We expect the candidate to work independently after a few months and collaborate with other members of the group and the institution.
DEADLINE FOR APPLICATION
Deadline: 10th April 2023 at 17:00 (CET)
RESEARCH GROUP DESCRIPTION
Our research group is mainly focused on the development of novel nanoparticle formulations for diagnostic and therapeutic applications. The multidisciplinarity is one of the main bases of the group, since the field of nanomedicine is based on the combination of physics, chemistry, biology, and medicine. The group is formed by 2 master’s students, 4 Ph.D. students and 4 postdoctoral researchers with combining expertise in chemistry, pharmacy, biology, and nanotechnology. The PI, Álvaro Somoza, has broad expertise in developing novel applications for oligonucleotides and nanoformulations in biomedicine. He is the PI of several national and international research projects where nanoformulations are employed. In these projects, the use of different modified nucleic acids (e.g., siRNAs, miRNAs, ASOs) and tailored linkers to control the functionalization of the nanoparticles are essential. Using these tools, diseases such as pancreatic cancer, uveal melanoma, breast cancer, and Duchenne muscular dystrophy are addressed, among others.