Sex-related responses to treatments is often influenced by anatomical, genetic, and molecular differences between females and males. Although recognized as fundamental biological variable, the influence of sex in several pathologies and respective treatments is not well understood, typically due to the absence of human-representative and stratified model systems. Advanced in vitro model systems, such as organs-on-chips, can incorporate personalizable features, thus, are suitable tools to assess how sex affects disease progression and response to therapies.
In this project, the prospective PhD candidate will develop novel organ-on-chip models to understand sex-linked health disparities, and more effectively model in vitro key differences between human men and women. This micro-technological approach will be combined with advanced imaging modalities and multi-omics. We strive to understand the onset and progression of diseases that affect males and females differently, namely in several musculoskeletal diseases and cancer. This approach represents a beyond-state-of-the-art solution to micro-engineer living functional tissues, with complex architectures, which will be used to develop sex-stratified in vitro models, ultimately allowing for more effective development and screening of sex-targeted drugs.
We encourage applications from candidates with a MSc degree or equivalent in biomedical engineering, biomedical sciences, biology or related fields. Knowledge on microfluidics, in vitro cells models and tissue engineering is highly appreciated. Experience with advanced imaging modalities and microfabrication is advantageous. Proficiency in spoken and written English, and the ability to work in a team, are requirements
Bedrijfsprofiel Universiteit Twente
The PhD-candidate will work in the Targeted Microphysiological Systems Lab, which is part of the department of Advanced Organ bioengineering and Therapeutics AOT and Organ-on-Chip Center Twente OoCCT. The AOT department is a research group with a highly international character. Our main goal is to investigate and explore the potential of novel (micro)technologies in the field of Personalized Medicine. Our department has a strong history in the development of various micro-technologies and advanced biomaterials, which have been leveraged to create a family of next-generation in vitro models. AOT is part of the Technical Medical Centre of the University of Twente, which is widely recognized for its cutting-edge developments in biomedical technology and advanced manufacturing.
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