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PhD positions on the mechanics of living epithelial materials in Barcelona

Marino Arroyo's picture

We are looking for highly motivated and creative PhD researchers to study the mechanical organization of epithelial cells and tissues through theory, computations and tight interaction with experimental collaborators, and to use this understanding to a precisely control tissue structure, mechanical properties, and dynamics. The ultimate goal is to predict the behavior of living matter, manipulate it, and use it to engineer new bio-inspired technologies. If selected, you will work in a highly interdisciplinary environment, in an expanding group headed by Prof. Marino Arroyo (  at the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya-BarcelonaTech, focusing on theory and simulations but interacting closely with neighboring experimental groups in cell and tissue mechanobiology at IBEC, also in Barcelona.

This position is part of a broad research effort supported by a Consolidator Grant of the European Research Project and a FET-Proactive H2020 project. This effort includes the examination of cell and tissue mechanobiology at different scales, ranging from the molecular constituents of mechanically relevant cellular structures to the collective behavior or epithelial monolayers. Several subprojects will be available focusing on cell-cell adhesion and fracture, 3D morphogenesis of epithelial cells and tissues, theory for subcellular mapping of forces in cell monolayers, tissue hydraulics, and control theory of tissue dynamics. 

You will be working in a vibrant dual research environment involving theory and computation on the one side, and mechanobiology on the other side. You will have access to state-of-the-art computing facilities and many opportunities for experimental collaboration, will collaborate with postdocs in the group, will have a generous travel allowance for conferences and summer schools, and will be given the freedom to develop your own ideas within the project. You will be expected to commit to the project and lab life, deliver top quality research and participate in paper drafting.

The successful candidate will hold a MS degree or equivalent in engineering, physics or applied mathematics, with previous exposure to biophysics, biomechanics, soft matter, or continuum and computational mechanics. Previous research experience in theoretical mechanobiology, computational mechanics or programming is desirable but not required. However, willingness and motivation to expand your expertise by reaching out to other disciplines is required. The evaluation will be on the basis of the academic record and credentials, previous research experience if any, exposure to relevant disciplines, and English proficiency.

Besides Skype interviews, it is possible to arrange on-site visits to the lab and the campus in Barcelona.

The starting date is flexible, up to the fall of 2017. The PhD does not involve coursework, unless agreed by the student and the supervisor. This fellowship does not involve teaching duties.

If you are interested, you are encouraged to apply as soon as possible by sending a CV with a list of at up to 3 references, a short (max one page) statement describing your past research experience if any and interests, and your academic transcripts. This and specific inquiries should be addressed to Prof. Marino Arroyo ( with “PhD applicant-2017” in the subject line.

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