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ESR4: INEB, Portugal

Design of dendrimer-based vectors for nucleic acid delivery to cartilaginous tissues of the joint and IVD

The INEB tasks within CARTHAGO focus on the design of nucleic acid vectors based on a new family of fully biodegradable dendrimers. The successful candidate will design and develop a non-toxic and targeted nanoparticle system capable of delivering therapeutic nucleic acids to chondrocytes and intervertebral disc cells. This project involves not only the design and preparation of potentially new nanotherapeutics for treatments of patients suffering from osteoarthritis or low back pain, but also the initial biological tests (in vitro) of these novel nanomedicines. In addition, together with other ESRs, in vivo studies showing proof of principle will be initiated.


We are looking for a candidate with a background in chemistry (organic, polymer and/or materials chemistry) and interest in nanomedicine, who is able to collaborate in a diverse team, consisting of fundamental and clinical scientists from many disciplines, including chemistry, physics, molecular biology, bioimaging and medicine. Experience in organic synthesis and NMR characterization of organic compounds will be highly valorized.

At INEB, the ESR will be hosted within the nanoBiomaterials for Targeted Therapies (nBTT) Group of i3S|INEB (https://www.i3s.up.pt/research-group?x=37). Our aim is to develop “smart” biomaterials, designed at the nanoscale with controlled architectures and functionalities, to provide in situ and in a targeted manner the required signals to promote tissue repair and restoration of function. The nBTT is part of the i3S, the Institute for Research and Innovation for Health. The i3S consortium established among IBMC, INEB, IPATIMUP and the University of Porto creates an environment that feeds real breakthrough research and translation of discoveries into the clinic. The i3S is dedicated to research and innovation in basic, applied and translational Health and Life sciences. It focuses on 3 research programs: Cancer; Host Interaction and Response; Neurobiology and Neurologic disorders. The transdisciplinarity of the programs allows to address questions at the molecular and cellular basis of living systems, mechanisms underlying disease and promotes the development of novel tools for screening, diagnostic and therapeutic strategies. The i3S core facilities provide access to advanced equipment for research in several fields (https://www.i3s.up.pt/scientific-platforms). Furthermore, i3S fosters continuous advanced trainings for scientists and implements annual educational and outreach activities to close the gap between science and society.

The INEB ESR will join Biomedical Engineering PhD within the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto (www.fe.up.pt). Biomedical Engineering is an interdisciplinary and very dynamic field that combines the design and problem-solving skills of engineering with medical biological sciences to advance health care treatment. This PhD program, that will be designed according to the student needs, offers access to a variety of post-graduate courses within the University of Porto that range from technical courses to transferable skills training.

Terms of employment

 The selected candidate will be offered a full-time PhD student position for 3-years, in the EC funded Horizon 2020 Marie Curie Innovative Training Network (ITN) CARTHAGO project, at the Institute of Biomedical Engineering (INEB)/Institute for Innovation and Health Research (I3S), Porto, Portugal.

The terms of employment and salary are in accordance with the local and national rules and the rules and regulations laid down by the European Union’s Horizon2020 Marie Sklodowska-Curie Action European Training Network. The ESR salary is subject to local tax, social benefit and other deductions following national regulations.

The exact net salary will depend on your eligibility to receiving some tax benefit. The student, if eligible, will request this benefit to the Tax Authority that will make the final decision. The tax benefit cannot be guaranteed. With the tax benefit, the minimum net salary is approximately € 1,700 (one year includes 12 + 2 months of salary (Holidays and Christmas allowances)). The gross salary is supplemented by lunch allowance of €4,77 per working day. Collective working insurance, and a pension scheme partly paid by employer, that includes access to a family doctor, sick and parental leave, among others, is available. At INEB, the mobility allowance is already included in the ESR living allowance (salary).

There is an individual internal training budget to attend external courses, conferences or workshops. Travel for partners and visa costs, within the scope of laboratory rotations, are financed by the project.

Some useful information:





For further information, applicants may contact the principal supervisor: Ana Paula Pêgo (apego@i3s.up.pt).

Apply now