Microphysiological models for the assessment of pulmonary concentration of inhaled aerosols PhD studentship

Programme Description

Applications are invited for a 4 year PhD studentship starting in Autumn 2020 within the School of Life and Medical Sciences at the University of Hertfordshire as part of the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Aerosol Science. Further information on the group’s research visit can be found here.

Start date: Autumn 2020

Duration: 4 years

Partner: EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Aerosol Science


The successful applicant will receive a studentship that covers tuition fees and stipend, paid at the standard UKRI rate.

The project

Lung diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease are predicted to be the third-biggest cause of death by the middle of the next decade. There is a current trend towards the use of systemically administered medicines for therapy of difficult-to-treat lung disease. However, there are significant gaps in our understanding of the links between aerosol deposition sites, binding to lung tissue and the time course of local drug concentrations during inhaled therapy.

This multidisciplinary project, in close collaboration with CN Bio Innovation will combine emerging microfluidic, lung-on-a-chip technologies with liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry bioanalysis to explore the ‘holy grail’ of in-lung pharmacokinetics.

Within this project the successful PhD candidate will develop a microfluidic chip incorporating a liquid dosing system for relevant and continuous sampling of drug concentration within a cell culture model and will explore a range of microsampling bioanalytical techniques for the assessment of drug concentrations in biological samples. Such technologies will be used to develop an in vitro pharmacokinetic model for lung absorption and to gain a better understanding of the intra-lung pharmacokinetic behaviour of drugs which impact on pharmacodynamics measure.

Informal enquires can be made to Prof Darragh Murnane.

Doctoral Training in Aerosol Science

During your doctorate, you will learn to research in diverse multidisciplinary teams, gain an advanced understanding of the core physical science of aerosols, and collaborate with industrial and public sector partners, equipping you to undertake ground-breaking research in aerosol science.

During the first 7 months of your PhD, you will join the CDT cohort based at the University of Bristol. Core training in aerosol science, research methods, professionalism and translation will be delivered by team-based learning. You will then undertake a short research project at your home or partner institution before starting your PhD research. You will gain experience outside academia in placement with an industrial/public sector partner in Year 2 or 3.

Applicant requirements

Candidates who aspire to work in a multidisciplinary field, and hold or will achieve a minimum of an upper second-class undergraduate degree in any of these areas are encouraged to apply: chemistry, physics, biological sciences, life and medical sciences, mathematics and computer science, chemical and mechanical engineering, pharmaceutical and environmental sciences.


Application Process

Apply here.

Closing date for applications: Monday 3 February 2020

Interview dates: Monday 10 February 2020

Expected studentship start date: Autumn 2020