Available Positions

If you have any positions, and you’re a member, contact us by email (web@ukev.org.uk) to advertise them below:

Research Associate (full time) – School of Medicine, Cardiff University  – Tuesday, 23 February 2021

Salary £33,797 – £40,322 per annum (Grade 6).  It is anticipated that the maximum starting point will be point 35 (£39,152 per annum). This post is full-time (35 hours per week), fixed-term until 31 January 2024 and available from 1 February 2021.

We are recruiting a highly motivated laboratory research scientist to join Professor Aled Clayton’s team at the Tissue Microenvironment Group, carrying out a study entitled ‘Mapping the Tumour Immune Microenvironment in Prostate Cancer’, which is fully funded by Prostate Cancer UK.

The project will involve the profiling of immune-relevant transcripts in prostate cancer tissue specimens, to identify alterations that accompany worsening disease severity. A component of this will incorporate cutting-edge digital spatial profiling methods, with collaborators at Oxford University. Exploring patient matched blood specimens will also be an important aspect, requiring development of tractable assays for measurement of transcripts or their products carried by circulating extracellular vesicles.

The postholder will have significant experience in a repertoire of molecular biology methods, including RNA-profiling techniques, experience working with FFPE and blood-serum, experience in general laboratory methods including fluorescence microscopy and flow cytometry and abilities in assay development. Applicants should have a postgraduate degree at PhD level in a related subject area or relevant industrial experience with specific expertise in analyses of clinical biospecimens.

For informal enquiries, please contact Professor Aled Clayton – ClaytonA@cardiff.ac.uk.

For more information: https://krb-sjobs.brassring.com/TGnewUI/Search/Home/HomeWithPreLoad?partnerid=30011&siteid=5460&PageType=searchResults&SearchType=linkquery&LinkID=11#jobDetails=1754244_5460

Post Doctoral Research Associate (Fixed Term) – School of Pharmacy, Lincoln – Friday 12 February 2021

Salary:   From £33,797 This post is full time, Fixed Term of 1 FTE for 36m
Interview Date:   Thursday 04 March 2021

Postdoctoral Research Associate – RNA and RNA-binding proteins, neuroscience and diabetes.

We are seeking a full time Postdoctoral Research Associate for a Leverhulme Trust funded position to study the role of RNA binding proteins in exocytosis in both insulin producing pancreatic beta cells and neuroendocrine cells. This is a fantastic opportunity for someone to work on a novel area of research which will have significant impact.

The project is multi-disciplinary and draws upon the expertise of academics from across the UK and Europe. You will be part of the Herbert and Whitehead labs, who have long standing interests in gene expression and diabetes. In addition, you will have the opportunity to work for up to 6 months with RNA biologist, Professor Matthias Hentze (web address) at the EMBL, Heidelberg, and the potential to work with world leading experts in the fields of diabetes and neuroscience at Universities of Birmingham and Leicester.

We are seeking candidates with a PhD (or close to completion/have equivalent experience) in a relevant subject area. You will have expertise in molecular and cellular biology and an interest in gene expression, exocytosis, diabetes or neuroscience. The role requires technical experience in gene cloning/plasmid construction, mammalian cell culture, and bacterial protein expression. It would also be of advantage if you had experience in confocal/fluorescence microscopy. You will have excellent communication skills and be able to work effectively as part of a team. You will have the ability to manage your own workload effectively while maintaining the flexibility required for working in scientific environments. We are strongly supportive of postdoctoral career development, and you will be encouraged to attend meetings and participate in further training opportunities to learn new skills and techniques.

To apply please visit https://jobs.lincoln.ac.uk/vacancy.aspx?ref=COS805 For informal enquiries please contact Professor Terence Herbert (therbert@lincoln.ac.uk)

Funded PhD project – Novel nanoplasmonic sensors for non-invasive detection of senescence. – University of Sheffield – Closing Friday 29th January 2021

his 3.5 year studentship is part of the Healthy Lifespan Institute (HELSI) at The University of Sheffield. HELSI is dedicated to the understanding and prevention of multimorbidity (the presence of two or more chronic health conditions that create disability and reduce quality of life). We are taking a unique multidisciplinary approach to help people live longer, healthier and more independent lives.

Students within the Healthy Lifespan Institute are valued and active members of the Institute and vital in contributing to our aims and helping to effect real change. You will be part of a wider multidisciplinary network of PhD students (see here) and will have the chance to influence and lead Institute activity, seminars and events, and meeting leaders in the field. A recent World Health Organisation (WHO) report on healthy ageing begins: ‘The world is facing a situation without precedent: We soon will have more older people than children and more people at extreme old age than ever before.’ This illustrates starkly the importance of research into healthy ageing. One area of research gaining particular attention is the potential of eliminating ‘zombie’ cells (termed senescent cells) which accumulate with age and contribute to chronic inflammation and many diseases of ageing, using ‘senotherapeutic’ drugs which specifically kill senescent cells or alter their secretions. Several studies in animals using senotherapeutics have shown startling results, with increased lifespan and reduction in age-associated disease. The translation of this into humans, however, is severely impeded by the lack of non-invasive, specific, biomarkers of senescent cell load. The identification of a reliable pharmacodynamic biomarker is important, as it can be used for early assessment of a treatment effect on a potential clinical end point, including patient safety.

Extracellular vesicles (EV) are small, membrane-bound structures released by cells into the surrounding environment, and are abundant in all body fluids. They contain a variety of nucleic acids, lipids and proteins, which provide a signature of the cell from which they were derived. Given the increasing understanding of the altered molecular landscape of senescent cells compared to proliferating counterparts, this raises the tantalising prospect that EVs present in body fluids may hold promise as biomarkers of senescence and that this may be exploited to develop non-invasive, low-cost assays of senescent cell load.

Project aim: We propose a simple, sensitive assay based on the nanoplasmonic analysis of senescent cell-derived extracellular vesicles that could determine senescent cell load and transform the clinical translation of senotherapeutics. In this project we propose two new approaches to the detection of biomarkers of senescence based on nanoplasmonic detection of biomarkers in senescent cell-derived EV that promise to meet this need. The project will provide training in a number of advanced techniques spanning biology, chemistry and engineering, all in a translational healthcare context. You will develop skills in cell biology techniques, extracellular vesicle isolation and characterisation, mass-spectrometry and bioinformatic analyses and nanoplasmonic detection technologies, along with opportunities for engagement with patients, the public and our industrial partner, who will act as an external mentor for the project. You will work in partnership with a PhD student based in the Department of Chemistry, who will work with you to develop plasmonic platforms for use in detection of biomarkers as part of a £7.3M EPSRC-funded programme. You will join a multidisciplinary team spanning three faculties at the University of Sheffield with a long and successful track record of PhD supervision and career development.

Entry Requirements: Candidates must: have upper second class honours degree (2.1) or above in either a biology/bioengineering based degree with an interest in chemistry, or a chemistry based degree with an interest in biology.
provide a convincing justification as to why they would like to undertake the project in their application statement, demonstrating any research knowledge and, if applicable, any experience relevant to the project.

How to apply: Please complete a University Postgraduate Research Application form here. Please clearly state the title of the studentship, the prospective main supervisor and select Clinical Dentistry as the department.

If you would like to ask any questions or informally discuss the project, please contact Dan Lambert (d.w.lambert@sheffield.ac.uk)


Research Technician – School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Birmingham – Closing 9th Dec 2020

The Tissue Cross-talk laboratory, led by Dr Martin Whitham, uses quantitative proteomics aligned to a range of biomedical techniques to understand long range signalling in health and disease. Applications are invited for a talented and driven research assistant/technician to join the laboratory and make a significant contribution to a Wellcome Trust funded, international collaboration on an investigation into the biology/physiology of extracellular vesicles. The post is for 14 months in the first instance, although there may be the opportunity for successful candidates to extend their role within the laboratory at the end of this period, subject to external funding.

Small extracellular vesicles have been recently shown by the host laboratory and others, to participate in intercellular transfer of proteins and other molecules in a range of both pathological and physiological contexts. The post holder will have a keen interest in research into the biological relevance of this process and the mechanisms by which it is coordinated.  Working closely with the principle investigator and postgraduate students, the successful candidate will make a significant contribution to a large, ongoing, international project that seeks to demonstrate proof of concept for the use of quantitative proteomics to identify protein signatures that mediate tissue specific uptake of extracellular vesicles. Experience of mass spectrometry-based proteomics is therefore desirable, although training will also be delivered. The post holder will also be expected to possess wet laboratory skills and a deep understanding of how to independently conduct a well-controlled experiment. Since the project is in collaboration with international stakeholders, there may also be an expectation/opportunity to work overseas, subject to Covid19 international travel restrictions. The candidate will be exposed to cutting-edge techniques to address an exciting research question and as such this post is ideal for someone looking to enrich their research experience and contribute as a co-author to scientific publications. All applicants are encouraged to contact Dr Martin Whitham (m.whitham@bham.ac.uk) in advance of their application to informally learn more about the role.

For more details: https://bham.taleo.net/careersection/external/jobdetail.ftl?job=200002SS&tz=GMT%2B00%3A00&tzname=Europe%2FLondon

PhD Studentship in Faculty of Medical Sciences – Investigating Extracellular Vesicle MicroRNA Profiles in ECP-Response in Patients with Graft versus Host Disease

Newcastle University – closing 2 Sept 2020 remains open due to Covid application processing extension

This study will investigate the molecular pathology of GvHD, by further understanding circulatory microRNA profiles in the extracellular vesicles of patient serum. Studies will focus on patients undergoing ECP therapy, which has been shown to have significant success, despite the precise mechanisms of action being unknown. As well as inform on the molecular pathogenesis of GvHD, this will provide novel insights into mechanisms to intervene disease pathology via ECP therapy, leading to earlier and more successful intervention.

For more details see: https://www.ncl.ac.uk/postgraduate/funding/sources/allstudents/tc011.html

Extracellular vesicles shaping the bowel cancer microbiome

Sheffield Hallam University – closing 30th Sept 2020

It is clear that the microbial ecology of the gut plays a key role in health and disease. Dysbiosis of the microbiome and changes in the formation of biofilms within the gut correlates with a range of diseases, including bowel cancer, raising the possibility that disrupting microbial dysfunction could be a useful treatment strategy.

Our team has established a research programme to develop the isolation and characterisation of extracellular vesicles (EVs) from bowel cancer cells, and to investigate their functional role. Building on this, we have recently demonstrated that EVs released by bowel cancer cells appear to alter the behaviour of bacteria, altering growth, biofilm formation and pathogenicity of E. coli.

In this project, we will evaluate the uptake and impact of healthy and cancer-derived EVs on a range of relevant bacterial gut species using an array of phenotypic markers (growth, biofilm formation, pathogenicity), and genomic and transcriptomic analysis. We will characterise this host-driven microbiological regulation and the cross-talk between microbiome and gut through EVs in bowel cancer, investigating the novel hypothesis that regulatory RNA within EVs may directly target bacterial transcriptomes. Finally, we will undertake proof-of-concept studies to determine whether exercise can alter regulatory EV cargo, altering this interaction with the microbiome and potentially reducing the risk of bowel cancer.

For more details see: https://www.findaphd.com/phds/project/extracellular-vesicles-shaping-the-bowel-cancer-microbiome/?p123077

A Breathomic-Based Extracellular Vesicle Approach to Improve Malignant mesothelioma Diagnosis

Sheffield Hallam University – closing 30th Sept 2020

Malignant mesothelioma (MM) is an incurable cancer associated with late-diagnosis, poor 5-year survival and limited treatment options. Current diagnostic options are invasive and fail to identify MM patients at an earlier, treatable stage, highlighting the urgent need for a new, non-invasive diagnostic method. One new area involves volatile organic compounds (VOCs), these act as signature molecules in exhaled breath to identify cancer. Previously, we have shown that distinct MM cell lines can be distinguished using their distinct VOC profile. VOC profiles directly agree with the few emerging reports on exhaled patient breath. It remains unclear what a diagnostic breath test will look like in clinical practice. However, it is crucial that MM breath analysis research explores and combines the full range of diagnostic markers.
Extracellular vesicles (EV) are also secreted by mesothelioma cells, revealing additional diagnostic information. In MM, several EV-derived RNAs can modulate crucial cell functions such as methylation, autophagy, apoptosis, proliferation, invasion, migration and chemo/radio-resistance. Recently, one study reported that EVs can be detected in exhaled breath condensate in bronchial asthma. Therefore, we aim to combine VOC profiles with EV-derived miRNAs and other non-coding-RNA to assist with differential diagnosis of MM.
For the first time, this study will explore the extraction and identification of RNA from mesothelioma derived EVs to reveal diagnostic information. We aim to diagnose mesothelioma non-invasively through a combined VOC-based/RNA derived EV breath test. This research has the potential to revolutionise the way we detect and diagnose mesothelioma, data generated may also inform other cancers.
The research team is based within the Biomolecular Sciences Research Centre at Sheffield Hallam University. The study will be led by Dr Haywood-Small (mesothelioma biology) in collaboration with Dr Nick Peake (EV isolation and interest in miRNA and functional analysis) and Dr Mari Herigstad (physiologist with a speciality in respiratory symptoms). Additional support will be provided by Dr Jason Webber (interest in EV isolation from biofluids, and biomarker discovery), a senior lecturer based at the Institute of Life Science, Swansea University Medical School.

For more details see: https://www.findaphd.com/phds/project/a-breathomic-based-extracellular-vesicle-approach-to-improve-malignant-mesothelioma-diagnosis/?p123084

The MHC class I peptidome of extracellular vesicles in lung cancer- searching for novel therapeutic targets

University of St Andrews – ending 31st August 2020

Lung cancer remains a significant problem in both Scotland and the whole UK, with survival rates five years after diagnosis still only between 10 and 20%. A new type of treatment for a range of cancers, called checkpoint inhibitor therapy is however showing significant promise. This therapy works essentially by allowing CD8 T cells of the immune response to detect cancer antigens presented on HLA class I molecules, and thus kill the cancer cells.

There is however a significant gap in our knowledge of antigen presentation to CD8 T cells. Extracellular vesicles (EV) are small (50-200 nm) sized vesicles released by most cell types, including cancer cells. They are highly bioactive and can alter the behaviour of recipient cells. They also often contain HLA class I molecules, and thus are potential sources to identify relevant tumour associated and tumour specific antigenic peptides. This project will use a combination of cell lines and patient samples to study the EV HLA class I peptidome of lung cancer, to determine if EV isolated from a simple blood sample can be used as a liquid biopsy relevant to the clinical treatment of patients.

We are seeking highly motivated candidates with a minimum 2.1 or first class degree BSc, or MSc in a relevant field.

For more information please contact Dr Simon Powis (). The project is jointly supervised by Dr Simon Powis of the School of Medicine and Dr Sally Shirran of the School of Biology who are experts in immunology and mass spectrometry respectively.
Starting date: September, October or November 2020, flexible by arrangement due to ongoing COVID-19 response.
To apply, candidates should submit a CV, plus a personal statement that outlines research interests and past experience, and motivation to complete a PhD (2 pages maximum), and contact information for two academic referees by email to: 

For more information on the Schools of Medicine and Biology see: https://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/medicine/ and https://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/biology/

Developing Automated Cell and Exosome Counters for Parkinson’s Disease

Loughborough Unviersity – Ending 1st Jan 2020

We current live in a time where the world population is aging, leading to a surge in aged related illness. Neurodegenerative diseases are largely linked to aging, being progressive and for the most part are mostly without cure and only limited treatment options. Parkinson’s disease is the second most prevalent neurodegenerative disease worldwide, with a good level of understanding of the pathology already known, yet how the disease initiates and progresses remains a challenge. Parkinson’s is characterised by a loss of movement control including resting tremors, muscular rigidity, bradykinesia, and general postural instability, resulting from a degeneration of dopamine signalling cells within a central part of the brain. Over the last decade advances have been made in better understanding of the disease, with some links to misfolded α-synuclein proteins known to lead to Lewy bodies and cause cellular dysfunction. There is also well known involvement of microRNAs in Parkinson’s pathogenesis. Being able to diagnose disease at an early stage enables planning and active monitoring to support these patients.

Extracellular vesicular bodies such as microvesicles (MVs) and exosomes are currently under intense investigation. This is due to the wide role they appear to play, at a fundamental level, in many biological processes, both physiological and pathological. MVs originate through at least three mechanisms: (a) breakdown of dying cells into apoptotic bodies; (b) blebbing of the cellular plasma membrane (ectosomes); and (c) the endosomal processing and emission of plasma membrane material in the form of exosomes. Their cellular origin, structure, function and characterization has been extensively reviewed, though still the subject of much debate. The previous lack of suitable methods for their detection, analysis, and phenotyping is proving to be a significant limitation in these studies. Recent research has demonstrated that neuronal-derived MVs isolated from peripheral blood may be useful in the evaluation of neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s disease.

The limitation of current analytical techniques is confounded by the variation in protocols for the purification, isolation and storage of MVs. This project will provide a new technology for the characterisation of MVs direct from cell culture with no sample preparation. With an ability to monitor in real-time the production of MVs within our model “brain-on-a-chip” device. The technology can also isolate individual MVs from the system for further genomic and proteomic studies, This will allow researchers to understand/ follow and characterise the disease in unprecedented detail.

Supervised by Dr Mark Platt and Dr Paul Roach at Loughborough University who bring expertise in 3D printed nanopore sensors for screening biological and inorganic materials within samples, and microfluidic model systems of in vitro brain circuitry designed to accurately reproduce part of the complex circuitry involved in neurodegenerative diseases.

The project will develop a current ‘brain-on-a-chip’ technology to integrate sensors with rapid data extraction/ analysis for the investigation of neurologically derived MV’s. These sensors have the resolution of a single exosome, capable of screening large volumes of liquid for a single or billions of cellular particles. The researchers will have access to our manufacturing facilities, sensors, laboratories and integrated into a vibrant research group researching neurodegenerative diseases. The project will develop, manufacture and test a resistive pulse sensor combined with embedded optical sensors. The outputs from the sensors will be analysed using a range of open access and bespoke statistical software. Data from genomic and proteomic analyses of the extracted MVs will be integrated into the biological model.

Applicants should have a background in chemical and biological sciences, with preference given to applicants with experience and competence in analytical and biophysical analysis. Support and training will be given in all aspects of the project, including photolithography, cell culture, microfluidics design and fabrication and data analysis.

See https://www.findaphd.com/phds/project/developing-automated-cell-and-exosome-counters-for-parkinson-s-disease/?p123090

Multiple postdoctoral fellow and technical staff positions
available immediately

Witwer Lab,Johns Hopkins University, USA

Are you ready to join the extracellular vesicle rEVolution?
Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are taking the world by storm and are exploited as biomarkers and
therapeutics. There’s still a lot of basic biology to work out, too. Our lab studies EVs in infectious and
central nervous system diseases.
Please help us explore the potential of EVs by using cutting-edge techniques for EV separation and
characterization. Examples of project areas include:
• Using and developing novel technologies for single EV phenotyping
• Applying EV release and uptake assays to drug discovery and development
• Studying EVs and enveloped viruses (HIV, SARS-CoV-2)
• Profiling and functional studies of EVs in neurodegenerative diseases: human samples, iPSC
Successful candidates will be highly motivated and have good writing skills, record-keeping abilities,
and ample laboratory experience (not necessarily with EVs). Interested? Send a CV and cover letter to
Kenneth Witwer, kwitwer1@jhmi.edu

Because of COVID-19 issues, candidates already in the US may have preference.

Postdoctoral Fellow – Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN, United States

A postdoctoral fellow position funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is available
immediately in the laboratory of Dr. Paula Hurley in the Department of Medicine at Vanderbilt
University Medical Center, Nashville, TN, United States. The contract is for two years and the
project aims to refine, with high rigor and reproducibility, the methodology to identify
biomarkers of clinically significant prostate cancer in circulating extracellular vesicles. This
project is in collaboration with Dr. Dolores Di Vizio in the Cancer Biology Program at Cedars-
Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA, United States and Dr. Andries Zijlstra at Genentech,
San Francisco, CA, United States.

Interested applicants should send their curriculum vitae, a summary of past achievements, a
statement of future goals and a list of 3 professional references by email to:

Also try: www.findapostdoc.com, or https://academicpositions.com in the EU.

Those of you interested in the USA should check out: https://www.exosome-rna.com/tag/postdoc/

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