PhD studentship - A novel tissue engineering approach for abdominal wall repair

£16,777 per annum [dependent on the registration date of the student]
Feb 22, 2018
Mar 22, 2018
Medicine, Medical
Contract Type
Full Time
Job Type
PhD / Doctoral
Vacancy Information

Abdominal hernias account for approximately 100,000 operations per year in the UK, bringing about a significant cost and healthcare burden. The use of meshes are a common surgical intervention for abdominal wall repair. However, recurrence, poor integration into the host tissue, chronic pain and nerve damage are associated complications with existing meshes. The design of novel, biomimetic materials has therefore become a prime focus, to promote repair and regeneration of the abdominal wall and avoid recurrence.

This project will involve fabricating biocompatible, tissue-engineered materials that recapitulate the native tissue environment. You will develop a vital in vitro tool to study cell-ECM interactions and improve our understanding of key differences in repair and remodelling capacity between healthy and hernia cells. You will be expected to characterise cell and molecular phenotype and correlate to material and structural properties. This knowledge will increase our understanding of healthy and hernia cell-matrix behaviour and will direct development of a novel, biomimetic mesh for use in abdominal wall repair.

Studentship Description

The student will be registered with UCL and will join the Division of Surgery and Interventional Science. The student will mainly be based at the Bloomsbury Campus (Charles Bell House) but may also work across UCL's other campuses, working collaboratively with leading academics and clinicians.

Training in practical and transferable skills will be provided through the UCL Doctoral School. Further information can be found on: UCL Doctoral Skills Development Programme.

Person Specification


Applicants are required to have a 1st or 2:1 class bachelors degree in a relevant subject area, which may include any Biological Science or Biomedical Science programme (or equivalent qualification). An ability to work independently with problem solving skills is essential. We also expect the candidate to demonstrate strong verbal and written communication skills, both in plain English and scientific language.

The English language level for this programme is standard ( GCSE/IGCSE pass at grade C or 5), please see the following link for more information : UCL's English Language Requirement Page.


Candidates with a strong interest in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine and lab experience with tissue culture, molecular biology methods and biomechanical techniques would be preferred. Having practical research experience either through gaining an MSc (or equivalent) in a relevant subject or through working in industry would be an advantage. Candidates should also demonstrate the ability to adapt and work collaboratively.


UK/EU applicants only.

To make an application, please email a CV with two named referees and a covering letter to: Dr Alvena Kureshi ( ) explaining your interest in the project, research experience (including examples of previous project work) and why you would be a suitable PhD candidate.

Contact name

Alvena Kureshi

Contact details

UCL Taking Action for Equality

Closing Date

24 Apr 2018

Interview date

15th May 2018

Studentship Start Date

August 2018