100%, starting from April/May 2020
We are seeking a highly motivated and enthusiastic PhD student to pursue a project in the framework of the EU H2020-funded consortium cmRNAbone (3D Printed-Matrix Assisted Chemically Modified RNAs Bone Regenerative Therapy for Trauma and Osteoporotic Patients).
The project goal is to develop a novel therapeutic strategy for bone regeneration based on chemically modified RNA-vector systems (cmRNA) delivered through a 3D-printed matrix. Tissue repair will be guided through a time- and space-controlled delivery of a cocktail of cmRNAs to transfect endogenous progenitors involved in the regeneration process. Importantly, when considering large bone defect and diseased bone, the regenerative progression is driven not only by the osteogenesis, but also by the timely innervation and vascularization, both important aspects of the healing of large and compromised bone defect. cmRNA therapy will therefore seek to coordinate and control the three processes to synergize the therapeutic effects.
the Candidate will design and optimize the vascularization strategies, as well as analyze the vascular aspects of the project. She/he will determine the dose-dependent angiogenic effect of cmRNA delivery in vitro and in vivo. She/he will take advantage of the unique expertise developed by the group of Dr. Andrea Banfi (Cell & Gene Therapy Lab, Department of Biomedicine), building on a core understanding of basic mechanisms of both vascular growth and bone regeneration, translating these into rational therapeutic approaches for regenerative medicine. We employ a variety of platforms to deliver controlled levels and combinations of growth factors, such as genetically modified progenitors (to provide both vascular growth and bone regeneration, combining the approaches of cell and gene therapy), and state-of-the-art biomaterials for the tunable release of matrix-bound recombinant growth factors (bypassing the transfer of genetic material).
The candidate should have a background in biology, medicine or biotechnology. Excellent communication skills, strong drive and self-motivation, a passion for research and ability to work in a team are required.
We offer you
The group is part of the multi-disciplinary Department of Biomedicine of the University of Basel, with access to state-of-the-art molecular biology and imaging technologies, in close collaboration with the clinical Department of Surgery, and provides a unique opportunity to develop bench-to-bedside projects. Integration in several European networks provides access to a wide range of innovative technologies.