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Research Fellow in Vivo Electrochemistry

School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences

Location:  Brighton - Moulsecoomb
Salary:  £35,845 to £42,792 per annum
Contract Length: 42 months
Closing Date:  Sunday 25 April 2021
Interview Date:  To be confirmed
Reference:  SP4159-21-054-R

We are currently seeking a Research Fellow to work on an Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) project, to provide research support to a project that is focused on the development of a drug-eluting in vivo electrochemical probe to monitor age-related lower bowel dysfunction.

Increasing age is frequently associated with a build-up of faeces in the large bowel due to difficult, infrequent, and incomplete emptying of the bowel (chronic constipation) as well as leaking of bowel contents (feacal incontinence). These are known as age-related bowel disorders. Over one third of the over 65-year-olds in the community and more than half of those in care homes will suffer these age-related bowel disorders. To the sufferer the symptoms can cause significant embarrassment, loss of dignity and quality of life. To the health service the cost of treating such conditions reached £1 billion in 2010. The number of people aged 65 and over will increase by more than 40% within 20 years, making this a major social and economic problem. Therefore, there needs to be an approach that allows for the early detection of predictive markers of age-related bowel disorders so that effective treatment can commence at an early stage, delaying/preventing the onset of the disorder and extending healthspan. 

To resolve these challenges this project begins our journey. Within this project we will develop a novel in vivo electrochemical probe to monitor, understand and track age-related changes in the lower bowel function. The longer-term goal is to utilise the probe as a theranostic device for the early detection of age-related lower bowel dysfunction. This will be achieved by the following objectives: (i) Convert the ex vivo electrochemical sensor into a drug-eluting in vivo probe (H.H.B. Hamzah et al, Anal. Chem., 2019, 91 (18), 12014-12020); (ii) Enhance the sensitivity and linear range of the in vivo probe to monitor contractions and mucosal signalling markers and (iii) Monitor in vivo age-related changes in lower bowel signalling and function.

In order to be successful in this post, you should have:

  • A good (1 or 2:1) degree, preferably in bioengineering, chemical engineering or chemistry and biochemistry 
  • A PhD in an aligned subject area associated with electrochemistry, biosensing or bioanalytical chemistry.
  • Experience of making and characterising electrochemical sensors. 
  • Experience of handling and working with animal model systems to conduct bioanalytical measurements.
  • Experience of conducting in vivo measurements is highly desirable, as evaluation of the developed probe is a critical part of the proposal

Informal enquires may be addressed to Professor Bhavik Patel (b.a.patel@brighton.ac.uk).  

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The University is committed to an inclusive environment which embraces equality and diversity in our working, learning, research and teaching environment. We particularly encourage applicants from a Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) background because the university is underrepresented by BAME staff.

Further information about working for us, as well as the wide range of benefits we offer, can be found in the working with us section of our vacancies page.


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