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ESR14: AO Research Institute, Switzerland (Fulfilled)

Delivery and anabolic/anti-inflammatory effects of nucleic acids in osteochondral explant culture

Carthago ESR14 will work at the AO Research Institute Davos and focus on delivery of chondrogenic and anti-inflammatory nucleic acids to osteochondral explant cultures. You will set up and monitor diverse bovine and human osteochondral explant models, including bioreactor cultures under multiaxial mechanical load. The selected nucleic acids and nanoparticle delivery vehicle combinations will be applied to the explant model and monitored for effectiveness to inhibit inflammation and degeneration or stimulate regeneration. You will be involved in every aspect of design, fabrication and testing of potentially new treatments for patients suffering from cartilage defects and osteoarthritis. Towards this aim, you will closely collaborate internationally with other ESRs of the project.


We are looking for a candidate with a background in biomedical sciences and interest in gene therapy, who is able to collaborate in a multidisciplinary team, consisting of fundamental and clinical scientists from many specialties, including chemistry, physics, molecular biology and medicine.

An ideal ESR PhD candidate will have excellent marks from previous studies and courses along with experience in the field of cell biology, biochemistry, or bioengineering. Practical experience in cell/tissue culture methodology is required. Experience in using biological and biochemical analysis techniques (e.g. protein and gene expression analysis) is also desired. The candidate must be enthusiastic and excited about the field of regenerative medicine, with excellent written and oral communication skills.

At the AO Research Institute Davos (ARI; www.aofoundation.org\ari), the ESR will be a member of the Regenerative Orthopaedics Program, with excellent facilities and experienced translational research teams. The ESR will be part of the Progenitor Cell and Mechanoregulation Focus Area of the Program.

In addition, the ESR will join the Regenerative Medicine PhD Programme within Utrecht’s Graduate School of Life Sciences. This interdisciplinary and cross-faculty RM programme is organized by Utrecht University, together with the University Medical Center Utrecht and Hubrecht Institute. Regenerative Medicine is a dynamic field that brings together fundamental and clinical scientists from many disciplines with the aim of developing novel therapeutic strategies for a wide variety of diseases. The Graduate School of Life Sciences offers access to a variety of post-graduate courses from introductory levels to academic writing.

Terms of employment

The selected candidate will be offered a full-time PhD position at the ARI for four years, starting on 1st March 2021. The presented PhD employment contract will be in line with the MSCA guidelines for the first three years; the mobility allowance will already be included in the ESRs living allowance (salary). There will be an individual training budget to attend external courses, conferences or workshops. Travel to the Partners and visa costs will be financed by the project. The fourth year will be offered according to the institutional regulations for PhD candidates at the ARI.

Are you interested?

Informal inquiries should be directed to martin.stoddart@aofoundation.org, or you can apply through our website. Note that while we are accepting applications, this position will not start until summer of 2021, and applications may not be reviewed until February 2021.