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Marie Curie PhD Fellows – Microfluidic Diagnostics
i) sorting human skeletal stem cells
ii) sorting bacteria and malaria-infected cells

University of Southampton £39,603
Full Time Fixed Term (3 Years)

Two fully funded PhD studentships are available to work on label-free microfluidic sorting schemes. Sorting is based on particle morphology, deformability and dielectric properties and the project will combine experimental science with advance modelling techniques. These projects are part of an EU network and will develop new schemes for sorting bacteria, enriching parasites (malaria) and parasite-infected cells and techniques to isolate rare cells such as human skeletal (mesenchymal) stem cells.

Chips will be designed and fabricated using state of the art clean rooms (£100M Mountbatten Nanofabrication Centre), focusing on the potential for simple low-cost mass produced systems. The goal is to develop advanced low cost diagnostic platforms to tackle critical medical conditions and approaches for stem cell isolation for patient benefit.

This LAPASO project is an EU Initial Training Network (ITN) funded by FP7 and for further information on the project, please visit:

The scheme is funded by the European Commission who have set specific eligibility criteria for this vacancy. Please also note that full funding is available to cover EU/UK tuition fees. Please note that funding is for EU students ONLY.
For further information surrounding Marie Curie schemes see:

Contact Prof Hywel Morgan at

For Skeletal Stem Cell programme contact Prof Richard OC Oreffo Or via


Roslin InstituteUniversity of Edinburgh




PhD project at the Roslin Institute, University of Edinburgh

Identification of key factors that limit articular cartilage degeneration in osteoarthritis
Supervisors:  Professor Colin Farquharson and Dr Dylan Clements

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a degenerative and painful joint disease and world-wide healthcare burden in animals and man. Its cellular/molecular mechanisms are not fully understood and current clinical strategies are limited. This is because we lack understanding of the interplay between the articular cartilage (AC) and the underlying subchondral bone; both undergo altered matrix remodelling resulting in pathological bone formation and progressive AC degradation.  This project will identify novel means of slowing joint deterioration and as such, will limit pain and prolong life quality in OA patients.
We have found that expression of the protein E11, essential for osteocyte differentiation from osteoblast precursors, is triggered by matrix mineralisation (Prideaux 2012). Moreover, microarray studies have revealed increased joint E11 expression following surgically induced-OA in mice (Chong 2013). These data have led us to hypothesise that E11 restricts subchondral bone sclerosis and AC pathologies observed in OA. This project will determine the precise role of E11 in OA and specifically will examine whether AC changes in OA are characterised by aberrant mineralisation and disrupted E11 expression.  To do this we will use OA mouse models established in our lab (surgical, natural and load-induced) and also canine and equine OA tissues for comparative studies.

Applications for the projects below are welcome from candidates who have or expect to have a minimum of an appropriate upper 2nd class honours degree

Further information from or