Project PREMUROSA

Project PREMUROSA

ANNOUNCEMENT: 13 Marie Sklodowska Early Stage Researchers (PhD research positions) available within the EU Horizon 2020 Marie-Sklodowska-Curie Project: MSCA-ITN-ETN “Precision medicine for musculoskeletal regeneration, prosthetics, and active ageing — PREMUROSA” grant no. 860462

Location of the positions: Italy, Switzerland, Portugal, Finland, Latvia, Ireland, Serbia

Map of institutions and countries involved in the project PREMUROSA

All nodes of the PREMUROSA network participate in the training, feeding upon collaborations through the network. The position includes short stays in some of the world leading research centers within the network. Yearly meetings (summer schools and symposia) of the complete network are foreseen.

Positions start: starting date is negotiable but tentatively between March and May 2020.

 

OUTLINE

The PREMUROSA project, funded by the European Commission under the Horizon 2020 programme (Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions Innovative Training Network) calls for applications for 13 fully funded PhD positions (early-stage researcher, ESR), with attractive complementary training activities and generous travel, laboratory and research budgets. The successful candidates will be hosted by a member of a European Consortium of universities, research institutions and companies in Italy, Switzerland, Portugal, Finland, Latvia, Ireland, Serbia and will benefit from an excellent scientific environment, up-to-date technologies and supervision by international leaders in the field. They will learn to integrate academic and industrial aspects in their research work and they will sharpen their experimental and complementary skills in a well-designed and diversified and unprecedented training program.

 

THE SCIENTIFIC AND FORMATIVE CHALLENGE OF THE PROJECT

The ultimate goal of the ITN PREMUROSA project is to train a new generation of scientists with an integrated vision of the whole value chain in musculo-skeletal regeneration technologies and able to boost the necessary innovations to achieve precision principles in developing innovative devices and optimized clinical applications.

Musculoskeletal diseases are a major burden on individuals, healthcare and welfare systems. Treatment of musculo-skeletal disorders is currently based either on prosthetic or regenerative surgical procedures, often involving medical device implantation. In both cases, individual tissue healing and regeneration, together with the appropriateness of the implanted device, markedly affect the outcome. A great improvement could be achieved by precision medicine, specifically designed on patient’s individual characteristics. This implies to combine the personalized clinical approach with individual ‘omic’ characterization and proper choice of medical device. The concept is “To take care with care”. This is the meaning of the Italian word “premurosa” and the ultimate goal of the ITN PREMUROSA project, aimed to train a new generation of scientists with an integrated vision of the whole value chain in musculo-skeletal regeneration technologies and able to boost the necessary innovations to achieve precision principles in developing innovative devices and optimized clinical applications. This aim will be achieved by a “triple i” (interdisciplinary, intersectoral, international) approach of thirteen ESRs, who will benefit from an excellent scientific environment, up-date technologies and supervision by international leaders in the field. They will learn to integrate academic and industrial aspects and will sharpen their experimental and complementary skills in a well-designed and diversified and unprecedented training program.

Graphical abstract of PREMUROSA scientific objectives

 

AVAILABLE PHD POSITIONS

We have 13 ESR positions available, with the following envisaged research projects:

  • Position 1: Materiomics analysis of metallic and ceramic materials for musculoskeletal regeneration (Polytechnic of Turin, Italy);
  • Position 2: Smart personalized degradable biomaterials for bone tissue regeneration (Riga Technical University, Latvia);
  • Position 3: The role of proteins dynamics in biomaterials/ bone biosystem (Tampere University of Technology, Finland);
  • Position 4: Biomimetic bioreactor systems as physiologically relevant environments (University of Belgrade, Serbia);
  • Position 5: Smart personalized degradable biomaterials for bone tissue regeneration (Istituto Ortopedico Rizzoli, Italy);
  • Position 6: Design of 3D in vitro vascularized organoid model (AO Research Institute Davos, Switzerland);
  • Position 7: 3D microfluidic based models for testing innervation of engineered microtissues for medical applications (Instituto de Engenheria Biomedica, Portugal);
  • Position 8: Innervation profile of cartilage engineered constructs under exposure to inflammatory insults (Instituto de Engenheria Biomedica, Portugal);
  • Position 9: Extracellular microvesicles and exosomes (EVs) as biomarkers/mediators of stem cells differentiation, wound healing and tissue regeneration around materials (University of Eastern Piedmont, Italy);
  • Position 10: Understanding the function of immune-system cells and cellular stress adaptation during healing (University of Eastern Piedmont, Italy);
  • Position 11: Evaluation of in vitro degradation and associated risks of novel biomaterials for implants (Aalto University Foundation, Finland);
  • Position 12: Multi-objective design and optimization (MODAO) of the data from in vitro and in vivo tests data (EnginSoft, Italy);
  • Position 13: Development of a glyco functionalised personalised hydrogel for interfacial tissue repair (National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland).

 

AMOUNT OF THE SCHOLARSHIP

The salary consists of the gross Monthly Living Allowance of 3,270 EUR per month pondered by the EU correction coefficient (specific for the countries where the enrolling Institutions are located, available at http://ec.europa.eu/research/participants/data/ref/h2020/other/mga/tmpl/h2020-annex2a-tmpl-estim-budget_en.pdf); in addition, a Mobility Allowance of 600 EUR per month will be paid, and also possibly another 500 EUR per month of Family Allowance depending on marital status. A family allowance of 500 EUR per month will be paid should the researcher have family, regardless of whether the family will move with the researcher or not. In this context, family is defined as persons linked to the researcher by (i) marriage, or (ii) a relationship with equivalent status to a marriage recognised by the national or relevant regional legislation of the country where this relationship was formalised; or (iii) dependent children who are actually being maintained by the researcher.
The ESR salary is subject to local tax, social benefit and other deductions following national regulations.

 

DURATION

The positions are offered full-time for 3 years (36 months).

 

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA

The 13 PhD positions as Early Stage Researchers (ESR1 to ESR13) are open to applicants of all nationalities fulfilling with the following eligibility requirements:

  1. should have — at the date of recruitment — LESS than 4 years of a research career, and not have a doctoral degree. The 4 years are measured from the date when the applicant obtained the degree which would formally entitle him/her to embark on a PhD, either in the country where the degree was obtained or in the country where the PhD is provided;
  2. should NOT have — at the date of recruitment — resided in the country where the research training takes place for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to recruitment, and NOT have carried out his/her main activity (work, studies, etc.) in that country. For refugees under the Geneva Convention (1951 Refugee Convention and the 1967 Protocol), the refugee procedure (i.e. before refugee status is conferred) will not be counted as ‘period of residence/activity in the country of the beneficiary’;
  3. should satisfy the eligibility requirements to enroll on a PhD degree. This includes i) master degree compliant with the research fields described in the INDIVIDUAL RESEARCH PROJECTS AVAILABLE (e.g. biomedical sciences, biotechnologies physics, chemistry, materials sciences, and mathematics…), ii) excellent/good oral and written English language skills, if English is not his/her first language, iii) good skills in scientific writing and results presentation.

 

APPLICATION AND SELECTION PROCESS

Candidates will be asked to apply on-line for one to maximum three of the above-mentioned positions. The application must include the following:

  1. A copy of the CV in English and in European format (max 5 pages);
  2. A copy of a valid ID document (password or equivalent);
  3. A motivation letter in English (max 1 page);
  4. Degree transcripts;
  5. Letters of reference (at least two);
  6. Statement that the applicant fulfills all eligible criteria listed in the paragraph above.

All documents and the application form must be applied to premurosa@uniupo.it within March 9th, 2020 12.00 PM (CET).

Application form and statements for eligibility may be downloaded here:

 

The selection procedure will be based on two steps: the first step will consist on the screening of all applications received and on the selection of a shortlist of candidates based on CV, academic transcripts, motivation and relevance with the specific research project; the second step will consist in an interview (held in person or Skype), at the end of which successful candidates will be recruited.

Prior to recruitment, successful applicants will be requested to produce the original copies of all certificates and documents declared. Incorrect or lacking of documentation may invalidate the recruitment procedure.

 

MORE INFORMATION

For more general information contact the Project Coordinator Prof. Lia Rimondini (lia.rimondini@med.uniupo.it). For information specifically related to the individual research project, please contact the supervisor responsible of each.

 

INDIVIDUAL RESEARCH PROJECTS AVAILABLE

ESR 1

Host institutionPOLITECNICO DI TORINO — Torino — Italy (POLITO)
LocationTorino — Italy
Project TitleMateriomics analysis of metallic and ceramic materials for musculoskeletal regeneration
Objectives and project descriptionThe project objective is to investigate the links between physico-chemical properties of metallic (titanium and its alloys and ceramic (bioactive glasses and glass-ceramics) materials, including chemistry (chemical composition, surface functionalization), surface morphology (topography, roughness) and hierarchical porosity (at the macro-, meso-nanoscale), and cells (pro- and eukaryotic) and tissues functionality. Optimization of the materials for specific cells and tissues responses is the core activity of the project.
Enrolment in Doctoral degree(s)Ph.D. Programme in Materials sciences and Technology at POLITO
Supervisors and contact personProf. Enrica Vernè, mailto: premurosa@uniupo.it

 

ESR 2

Host institutionRIGA TECHNICAL UNIVERSITY — Riga — Latvia (RTU)
LocationRiga — Latvia
Project TitleSmart personalized degradable biomaterials for bone tissue regeneration
Objectives and project descriptionThe project objective is to develop personalized drug delivery systems to incorporate in biomaterials for bone tissue regeneration, including two level of personalization:
  1. Biomaterial composition (faster or slower degrading, depending on patient and application needs);
  2. Drug delivery personalization, including what related to kinetics and doses.
Enrolment in Doctoral degree(s)Ph.D. Programme in Materials Science at RTU
Supervisors and contact personProf. Janis Locs, mailto: janis.locs@rtu.lv
Assoc. Prof Dagnija Loca, mailto: dagnija.loca@rtu.lv

 

ESR 3

Host institutionTAMPEREEN KORKEAKOULUSAATIO SR — Tampere — Finland (TAU)
LocationTampere — Finland
Project TitleThe role of proteins dynamics in biomaterials/ bone biosystem
Objectives and project descriptionThe project objective is to identify the biomaterials (metals and ceramics) surface physical-chemistry properties influent on adsorption and kinetics of specific proteins promoter for musculoskeletal tissue regeneration. In this project, will study the impact of surface chemistry, charge and topography on model protein adsorptions and conformation. Impact of protein adsorption at the surface of the biomaterials on the stem cells fate will be ascertain.
Enrolment in Doctoral degree(s)Ph.D. Programme in Biomedical Sciences and Engineering at TAU
Supervisors and contact personAssoc. Prof. Jonathan Massera, mailto: jonathan.massera@tuni.fi

 

ESR 4

Host institutionFACULTY OF TECHNOLOGY AND METALLURGY — University of Belgrade — Belgrade — Serbia (UOB)
LocationBelgrade — Serbia
Project TitleBiomimetic bioreactor systems as physiologically relevant environments
ObjectivesThe project objective is to develop and utilize in vitro biomimetic bioreactor systems as physiologically relevant environments for in vitro tissue regeneration as well as for evaluation of novel biomaterials and prediction of the biomaterial function upon implantation. Assessment and optimization of bioceramic and composite biomaterials for bone/osteochondral tissue regeneration in the biomimetic bioreactor systems is the core activity of the project.
Enrolment in Doctoral degree(s)Ph.D. Programme in Chemical Engineering at UOB
Supervisors and contact personProf. Dr. Bojana Obradovic, mailto: bojana@tmf.bg.ac.rs

 

ESR 5

Host institutionISTITUTO ORTOPEDICO RIZZOLI — Bologna — Italy (IOR)
LocationBologna — Italy
Project TitleSmart personalized degradable biomaterials for bone tissue regeneration
Objectives and project descriptionThe project objectives are to:
  1. build a professional Researcher acting as interface between the clinical and experimental needs. ESR5 will interact with clinicians to deepen knowledge of the clinical problems in regeneration of bone and cartilage and of orthopedic reconstructive surgery fields from animal retrospective studies, ESR5 will collect data on the regenerative/reparative steps and mechanisms reproducible in vitro;
  2. develop of 3D advanced in vitro models simulating the cellular and tissue microenvironment during the onset and progression of particularpathologies of the musculoskeletal system, such as osteoarthritis, osteolysis and alterations of bone metabolism including osteoporosis;
  3. develop and assess the 3D advanced in vitro models, consisting of human cells and tissues, for “mechanistic” studies necessary for the understanding of mechanisms of action, toxicity and dose-effect of therapeutic innovative treatments and, at the same time, for reducing the number of animals used for experimental purposes.
Enrolment in Doctoral degree(s)Ph.D. Programme in Medical Sciences and Biotechnology at UPO
Supervisors and contact personDr. Milena Fini, MD, mailto: premurosa@uniupo.it

 

ESR 6

Host institutionAO RESEARCH INSTITUTE — Davos — Switzerland (ARI)
LocationDavos — Switzerland
Project TitleDesign of 3D in vitro vascularized organoid model
Objectives and project descriptionThe project objectives are to:
  1. develop in vitro 3D organoid models able to study patient specific tissue behaviour for potential novel treatment and/or implementation in regulatory process;
  2. obtain in vitro safety/efficacy data on the “specific treatment” using the developed 3D organoid models and compare with in vivo data. In particular:
    1. learning bioprinting / acoustic patterning process for the generation of 3D organoid models;
    2. develop, print and characterization bioinks for 3D organoid models;
    3. produce perfusable tubular, vascular networks within the 3D organoid models;
    4. establish 3D organoid models’ functionality in term of ability to read-out “drugs response”.
Enrolment in Doctoral degree(s)Ph.D. Programme in Food, Health and Longevity at UPO
Supervisors and contact personProf. Mauro Alini, mailto: mauro.alini@aofoundation.org
Dr. Tiziano Serra, mailto: tiziano.serra@aofoundation.org

 

ESR 7

Host institutionINSTITUTO NACIONAL DE ENGENHARIA BIOMEDICA — Porto — Portugal (INEB)
LocationPorto — Portugal
Project Title3D microfluidic based models for testing innervation of engineered microtissues for medical applications
Objectives and project descriptionThe project objective is to development of 3D microfluidic based models to address the ability of cartilage engineered microtissues for joints medical applications to promote or avoid peripheral tissue innervation. ESR7 will acquire skills in: Fabrication of compartmentalized microfluidic devices (CMV), in vitro cocultures in CMV, 3D neuronal/non-neuronal cocultures, 3D neuronal/non-neuronal cocultures in CMV, readout of cellular interactions in CMV.
Enrolment in Doctoral degree(s)Ph.D. Programme in Biomedical Engineering (PRODEB) at University of Porto
Supervisors and contact personSupervisor: Meriem Lamghari, Co-supervisor: Estrela Neto,
Contact person: Ana Paula Filipe, mailto: apfilipe@i3s.up.pt

 

ESR 8

Host institutionINSTITUTO NACIONAL DE ENGENHARIA BIOMEDICA — Porto — Portugal (INEB)
LocationPorto — Portugal
Project TitleInnervation profile of cartilage engineered constructs under exposure to inflammatory insults
Objectives and project descriptionThe project objective is to investigate the effect of the proinflammatory environment on the neurotrophic vs repulsive ability of the cartilage engineered constructs. ESR8 will acquire skills in Macrophages cultures and polarization, 3D neuronal/non-neuronal cocultures in CMV, assessment of the innervation profile triggered by cartilage engineered constructs under stimulation of the proinflammatory vs anti-inflammatory macrophages secretomes, cell and molecular biology techniques.
Enrolment in Doctoral degree(s)Ph.D. Programme in Biomedical Engineering (PRODEB) at University of Porto
Supervisors and contact personSupervisor: Meriem Lamghari, Co-supervisor: Estrela Neto,
Contact person: Ana Paula Filipe, mailto: apfilipe@i3s.up.pt

 

ESR 9

Host institutionUNIVERSITY OF EASTERN PIEDMONT - Alessandria, Novara, Vercelli — Italy (UPO)
LocationNovara — Italy
Project TitleExtracellular microvesicles and exosomes (EVs) as biomarkers/mediators of stem cells differentiation, wound healing and tissue regeneration around materials
Objectives and project descriptionThe project objectives are to:
  1. characterize EV and exosomes in emblematic patient groups as biomarkers predictive of tissue healing and regeneration (proteomics, transcriptomics);
  2. identify the angiogenetic and neurogenetic role of EVs and exosome around materials;
  3. promote the release of angiogenetic and neurogenetic factors from EVs and exosome by contact with optimized biomaterials.
Enrolment in Doctoral degree(s)Ph.D. Programme in Food, Health and Longevity at UPO
Supervisors and contact personProf. Annalisa Chiocchetti, mailto: annalisa.chiocchetti@med.uniupo.it

 

ESR 10

Host institutionUNIVERSITY OF EASTERN PIEDMONT - Alessandria, Novara, Vercelli — Italy (UPO)
LocationNovara — Italy
Project TitleUnderstanding the function of immune-system cells and cellular stress adaptation during healing
Objectives and project descriptionThe project objective is to develop protocols to evaluate immune and cellular stress responses, stress adaptation and cell death during healing and tissue regeneration in presence with biomaterials.
Enrolment in Doctoral degree(s)Ph.D. Programme in Food, Health and Longevity at UPO
Supervisors and contact personProf. Marco Corazzari, mailto: marco.corazzari@med.uniupo.it

 

ESR 11

Host institutionAALTO KORKEAKOULUSAATIO SR — Helsinki — Finland (AALTO)
LocationHelsinki — Finland
Project TitleEvaluation of in vitro degradation and associated risks of novel biomaterials for implants
Objectives and project descriptionThe project objective is to assessment in vitro of the risks of novel biomaterials solutions under pseudo-static and dynamic conditions vs. conventional controls.
Enrolment in Doctoral degree(s)Ph.D. Programme in Engineering at AALTO
Supervisors and contact personProf. Michael Gasik, mailto: premurosa@uniupo.it

 

ESR 12

Host institutionENGINSOFT SpA — Padova — Italy (ES)
LocationPadova — Italy
Project TitleMulti-objective design and optimization (MODAO) of the data from in vitro and in vivo tests data
Objectives and project descriptionThe project objective is to use advanced data processing and data mining methods to discover “hidden links” between the experimental and clinical variables capable to generate greater level of evidence and to generate predictive models leading to the DSS.
Enrolment in Doctoral degree(s)Ph.D. Programme in Medical Sciences and Biotechnology at UPO
Supervisors and contact personDr. Manolo Venturin, mailto: m.venturin@enginsoft.com

 

ESR 13

Host institutionNATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF IRELAND — Galway — Ireland (NUI)
LocationGalway — Ireland
Project TitleDevelopment of a glycol-functionalised personalised hydrogel for interfacial tissue repair
Objectives and project descriptionThe project objectives are to:
  1. validate common specific glycosignature profiles on rat, sheep and human NP and AF cells and tissue;
  2. functionalize a Type II collagen/hyaluronan hydrogel with glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) and/or proteoglycans (PG) motifs to maintain the phenotype and viability of patient derived bone marrow derived stem cells;
  3. evaluate the efficacy of the collagen/hyaluronan reservoir system to maintain the microenvironment, enhance GAG production and slow down disc degeneration in an organ culture model;
  4. evaluate the efficacy of the cell seeded glyco-functionalised Type II collagen/hyaluronan hydrogel to recapitulate the biosynthesis of functional extracellular matrix (ECM) in vivo.
Enrolment in Doctoral degree(s)Ph.D. Programme in Biomedical Engineering and Regenerative Medicine at NUI Galway
Supervisors and contact personProf. Abhay Pandit, mailto: premurosa@uniupo.it