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Closing date: 2 July 2021

Key Information

This scholarship is funded by the EPSRC and Houston Methodist Research Institute (HMRI).

Start date: October 2021

Subject areas: Advanced Therapeutics, Nanomedicine, Biomedical science, Medical engineering

Project description:

Swansea University Medical School is pleased to advertise a fully funded joint PhD position in collaboration with Houston Methodist Research Institute (HMRI). Sponsored by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), the project aims to develop novel biomimetic drug-delivery approaches for gynaecological cancers. Using multi-scale depot approaches, these advanced delivery methods will be able to preferentially accumulate at metastatic sites and maintain the bioactivity of therapeutic payloads. Multistage porous particles (MSV) will be used for localized delivery of nanoparticles and cytotoxic drugs, to modulate target cell function and rewire malignant processes.

The student will split their time between Swansea University, in the Reproductive Biology and Gyneacological Oncology (RBGO) group (50%), located in Institute of Life Sciences 2 (ILS2) and in the Department of Nanomedicine at the Houston Methodist Research Institute (Houston, Texas) (50%). RBGO research is clinical need focused, led by clinical-academics, developing wider networks to facilitate cutting edge advanced diagnostic and therapeutic approaches to combat female cancers. Using a multi-disciplinary outlook, the first year will provide in depth disease specific understanding, tailoring advanced therapeutic approaches to improve intra-peritoneal drug delivery. The Department of Nanomedicine at HMRI focuses on interdisciplinary research by combining engineering and biomedical sciences to develop nanotechnology-enabled therapeutic and diagnostic platforms for combating chronic diseases including cancer. Significant time will be spent at partner institution (HMRI) in the Corradetti lab where immune cell derivatives-MSV will be engineered, characterized and tested in preclinical models of advanced ovarian cancer.

The successful candidate will benefit from multidisciplinary study both in Swansea and in the Texas Medical Center. RBGO is a large and dynamic research team with a strong track record in research excellence and teaching. Working within the advanced therapeutics section of the group, nanoparticle and exosome mimetics provide an exciting and cutting-edge PhD opportunity. Working at the interface between drug delivery, material science and mechanism of action, the project will be supported by high tech instrumentation and laboratory approaches. Micro- and nano-vesicle fabrication, characterisation, 3D culture, drug penetration and associated downstream cell and molecular assays will be used, in two world class research environments, to optimise therapeutic approaches for advanced ovarian cancer.


Candidates should hold a minimum of an upper second class (2:1) honours degree and/or an MSc (or its equivalent) in Molecular Biology, Biosciences, Biophysics, Biomedical, Biochemistry, Medical Engineering.

The successful applicant will also have:

  1. skills in molecular biology and tissue culture techniques;
  2. a multidisciplinary outlook with appreciation of the physical sciences;
  3. basic understanding of material sciences and material/bio interfaces in biomedical applications;
  4. a keen interest in gynaecological cancers and drug delivery;
  5. some experience in material fabrication and characterisation, or disease models, treatment and analysis.

We would normally expect the academic and English Language requirements (IELTS 6.5 overall with 5.5+ in each component) to be met by point of application. For details on the University’s English Language entry requirements, please visit –

This scholarship is open to candidates of any nationality. However, the scholarship only covers the cost of UK tuition fees and stipend.

NB: If you are holding a non-UK degree, please see Swansea University degree comparisons to find out if you meet the eligibility.

If you have any questions regarding your academic eligibility based on the above comparison, please email with the web-link to the scholarship(s) you are interested in.


This scholarship covers the full cost of UK tuition fees and an annual stipend of £15,609.

There will be additional funds available for research expenses.

How to Apply

To apply, please complete and submit the following documents to Dr Lewis Francis (

Informal enquiries are welcome, please contact Dr Lewis Francis (

For more information please open this link

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