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Designing biomimetic systems at the interface between active matter and lipid membranes


Vacancy details

General information

Organisation

TNW Faculty (Faculty of Science & Technology)

The Faculty of Science & Technology (Technische Natuurwetenschappen, TNW) engages some 700 staff members and 2000 students in education and research on the cutting edge of chemical technology, applied physics and biomedical technology. Our fields of application include sustainable energy, process technology and materials science, nanotechnology and technical medicine. As part of a people-first tech university that aims to shape society, individuals and connections, our faculty works together intensively with industrial partners and researchers in the Netherlands and abroad, and conducts extensive research for external commissioning parties and funders. Our research has a high profile both in the Netherlands and internationally and is strengthened by the many young researchers working on innovative projects with as doctoral candidates and post-docs. It has been accommodated in three multidisciplinary UT research institutes: Mesa+ Institute, TechMed Centre and Digital Society Institute.

As an employer, the TNW Faculty offers jobs that matter. We equip you as a staff member to shape new opportunities both for yourself and for our society. With our Faculty, you will be part of a leading tech university that is changing our world for the better. We offer an open, inclusive and entrepreneurial climate, in which we encourage you to make healthy choices, for example, with our flexible, customisable conditions.   

Reference

2021-407  

Publication start date

03/06/2021

Publication date

04/06/2021

Publication end date

07/07/2021

Vacancy category

Standard

Minimum contract hours

38

Maximum contract hours

38

Position description

Category

Academic staff - PhD

Job title

Designing biomimetic systems at the interface between active matter and lipid membranes

Minimum salary

2395

Maximum salary

3061

Job description

We are looking for a curiosity-driven person who enjoys conceptual thinking and passionate about learning new concepts and doing original research.

       Designing simple biomimetic systems such as self-propelled particles (SPPs) or artificial microswimmers and active vesicles is currently a topic of substantial interest in active soft matter. Biological cells generate intricate structures by sculpting their membrane from within to actively sense and respond to external stimuli or to explore their environment. Several intracellular pathogenic bacteria (e.g. Listeria) also provide examples of how localized forces strongly deform cell membranes from inside, leading to the invasion of neighboring healthy mammalian cells. Giant unilamellar vesicles have been successfully used as a minimal model system with which to mimic biological cells, but the realization of a minimal system with localized active internal forces that can strongly deform lipid membranes from within and lead to dramatic shape changes remains challenging.

      The main objective of the project is first to develop a more realistic biomimetic system and then use this system to investigate how the lipid membrane responds to highly-localized forces, when and how these local forces translate into different membrane morphologies.

       The research work will be carried out in the group of Dr. Hanumantha Rao Vutukuri, a tenure-track assistant professor. The active matter group is a part of the Soft Matter Cluster in the Science and Technology Faculty at the University of Twente, Enschede, The Netherlands. You will be working in a dynamic and highly interdisciplinary environment.

 

References: 

Vutukuri, et al., Nature, 586, 52, 2020. 
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-020-2730-x

Vutukuri, et al., Nat. Communi, 586, 52, 2020.
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-020-15764-1

Profile

  • A master degree (or equivalent) in Physics, Biophysics or interface between Physics and Chemistry. Students with an MS or MSc in Chemical Engineering, Materials Engineering or Mechanical Engineering are also encouraged to apply if the master’s thesis work is related to soft matter.
  • Prior exposure to the experimental skills, ideally including optical microscope techniques and the colloidal particle synthesis are an assert, but not necessary.
  • Working knowledge/ demonstrated practical programming experience in Python, C++ and/or MATLAB is a plus.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills in English.

We offer

The University of Twente offers a stimulating work environment in an area of applied, forefront research. When fulfilling a PhD position at the UT, you will get the status of junior scientist. You will have an employment contract for the duration of 4 years and can participate in all employee benefits the UT offers. The gross monthly salary starts with € 2.395,- in the first year and increases to € 3.061,- in the fourth year of your employment. Additionally, the University of Twente provides excellent facilities for professional and personal development, a holiday allowance (amount to 8%), an end of year bonus of 8.3%. A high-quality training program is part of the agreement. The research has to result in a PhD thesis at the end of the employment period.

Information and application

Please submit your online application before 7th July 2021 for full consideration. Your application should include the following documents:

  • Cover letter in which you describe your motivation, qualifications and research experience for the position (max 1 page)—possible starting date.
  • Curriculum vitae, including a list of publications (if applicable).
  • Digital bachelor and master transcripts.
    Name and contact details of two references who worked closely with you.
  • Note that we accept applications submitted through our online application portal.

For more information about this position, please contact Dr. H.R. Vutukuri (h.r.vutukuri@utwente.nl).

About the department

The research work will be carried out in the group of Dr. Hanumantha Rao Vutukuri, a tenure-track assistant professor. The active matter group is a part of the Soft Matter Cluster in the Science and Technology Faculty at the University of Twente, Enschede, The Netherlands. You will be working in a dynamic and highly interdisciplinary environment.

Position localisation

Job location

Nederland, Enschede, Drienerlolaan 5, 7522 NB

Location

Drienerlolaan 5 7522 NB Enschede

Candidate criteria

Minimum level of education required

4. Master