Research Assistant/Associate in Bioelectronic Systems Technology
University of Cambridge Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology
United Kingdom

Prof Roisin Owen's group in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology wishes to recruit a Research Assistant/Research Associate to work on a project to develop an in vitro model of the gut-brain axis with integrated technology solutions for monitoring the effects of the microbiome on human health.

The role that gut microbiota play in human health and disease is undeniably important. In particular, microbes in the gut have been shown to affect neural function. However, the exact molecular and cellular mechanisms by which microbes hosted within the gut lumen transmit signals across the intestinal barrier to the nervous systems of the body remain a mystery, partly due to a lack of appropriate tools. We propose to develop a 3D model of the gut, with enteric nervous system (ENS) and immune components, to mimic gut function in a benchtop model. Advancing from our previous work in developing a 3D human model of the gut with integrated electronics, our aim in this project ¿ NEUROMOD - is to integrate neural and immune components to understand their role in mediating communication between gut microbes and the brain. To do this, we believe it is necessary to generate whole organism level information to understand the origin of the neural signals in the ENS and how they propagate in the gut before reaching the brain. The role holder will develop an augmented 3D in vitro model of rodent gut as a comparison tool to compare between rodent in vivo data and human in vitro data. This model will include immune and ENS cells, with integrated electronic monitoring, to study interactions between host and microbes.

The ideal candidate will have a PhD (or be close to completing a PhD) in biomedical engineering, tissue engineering or a related scientific discipline. The candidate must be versed in biological interfaces and engineering of these systems. The candidate should have experience with tissue culture, specifically co-culture models of the gut. The candidate will have the responsibility to develop a co-culture system representing gut, ENS and immune components within conducting polymer scaffolds. The candidate will need to characterise these systems to assess their viability as an in vitro model of the gut-brain axis. Experience in tissue engineering and cell culture are required. The candidate should also have experience in microfabrication techniques and state of the art microfluidics technologies. This is a multidisciplinary project and the successful candidate should be willing to and capable of interacting with team members from disciplines ranging from cell biology to chemistry to physics. The candidate will also be expected to disseminate results to the broader scientific community, thus having experience with written and oral presentation skill sets.

More information about the Group is available here:

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 24 months in the first instance.

Once an offer of employment has been accepted, the successful candidate will be required to undergo a health assessment.

Click the 'Apply' button below to register an account with our recruitment system (if you have not already) and apply online.

For an informal discussion about the post, please contact For an informal discussion about the post, please contact Dr Roisin Owens,

Please quote reference NQ25036 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University actively supports equality, diversity and inclusion and encourages applications from all sections of society.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.

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