Job ID: 6748

Ph.D. Student in GENOVA/Italy

Position: Ph.D. Student

Deadline: 31 July 2021

City: Genova

Country: Italy

Institution: ISTITUTO ITALIANO DI TECNOLOGIA (IIT)

Department:

Description:

Project “Building hybrid synapses as a therapeutic strategy for photoreceptor degeneration”
A PhD position in the area of hybrid synapses and photosensitive neural interfaces is available at the Center for Synaptic Neuroscience and Technology directed by dr. F.Benfenati at the Italian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Genova (Italy).
The project aims at the development and characterization of a device able to release glutamate upon illumination by a plasmonic enhancement of impinging light. These opto-neural interfaces will be tested on neural cells and tissues in vitro and ex vivo. The candidate will be in a unique position to exploit recent advances in the development of nano-tools able to elicit light-driven stimulation of dystrophic neural tissue such as degenerate retina. This position will allow the candidate to join a multidisciplinary team (medicine, biology, physics and chemistry) with the final aim of translating the photosensitive nanotechnology into a therapeutic tool.
Applicants should have a background in Biomedical Engineering, Physics, Chemistry or Biology/ Biotechnology. The ideal candidate wishes to develop practical skills for in vitro or ex vivo experimental work (electrophysiology, tissue engineering) and data analysis to engineer the hybrid neurointerfaces and study the biophysics of the developed technology.
The PhD contract is funded by a H2020 FET-OPEN project (HyVIS) and awarded through the Open University program (http://www.open.ac.uk/), for which IIT is an Affiliated Research Center. The tentative starting date is November 2021. Please submit your application (deadline July 31, 2021), including CV and a research motivation statement to elisabetta.colombo@iit.it and fabio.benfenati@iit.it quoting the project title in the subject line. Candidates must also request 1-3 reference letters to be sent directly to the same email addresses by the referees.

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