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PhD Viva Success for Award-Winning LSI Student, Josh Eaton.

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LSI PhD Programme

LSI PhD Programme

The Living Systems Institute (LSI) is pleased to announce four fully-funded PhD studentship opportunities, available on a part-time or a full-time basis.

Studentship highlights

  • An interdisciplinary training programme tailored to the individual student
  • Fully-funded places including personal stipend and training budget
  • The opportunity to formulate your own project
  • A supervisory team from different disciplines
  • A modern, inclusive environment that is passionately committed to your development.
  • Leading-edge approaches including genome editing, advanced imaging, stem cell biology, mathematical modelling, neuroscience, single-cell/molecule technologies
  • A thriving community of over 60 PhD students

Who we’re looking for

Modern scientific innovation involves the integration of diverse disciplines and the bridging of pure and application-oriented research. This requires a new generation of scientists who are trained to think and experiment beyond traditional boundaries.

We wish to recruit the best and most imaginative students from across the full range of disciplines working within LSI - Biologists, Physicists, Mathematicians, Computational Scientists and Engineers using cutting-edge technologies.

Your PhD project

Examples of potential interdisciplinary research projects are listed below, however, we would also welcome your own ideas.

If you are submitting your own project idea, read more about LSI's Principal Investigators and potential supervisors here to check we are a good fit for your research. 

Project ideas

Please note that the academics listed in italics below the project titles are probable supervisors at this stage and are subject to change.

Directed evolution of Cas endonucleases using droplet microfluidics and single-molecule sensing for next-generation gene therapies.
Fabrice Gielen, Frank Vollmer and Akshay Bhinge

Quantifying antibiotic uptake and toxicity via microfluidics and cytomics
Stefano Pagliara and Ben Housden

Investigating the self-assembly of microbial cell walls by single molecule sensing, cryo electron microscopy and high-resolution light microscopy
Bertram DaumChristian Soeller and Frank Vollmer

Quantum Biology: Coherently controlling a plant: new mechanisms and applications
Daniel Kattnig, Nick Smirnoff and JJ Phillips

Probing single photon emissions from the brain of the ragworm Platynereis dumerilii as a new approach to measure neural circuit activity
Gáspár Jékely and Frank Vollmer

Investigation of protein-protein interactions that regulate RNA processing in the nucleus using novel super-resolution microscopy
Christian Soeller and Steve West

Origins and control of metachronal waves in motile cilia
Kirsty Wan and Gáspár Jékely

Diagnosis of blood cancers with on chip phenotypic profiling
Catalin Chimerel and Benjamin Housden


How do biomolecular condensates control gene regulatory processes
Steve West, Nicholas Harmer and Christian Soeller

Using cryoEM and live-cell imaging to investigate cytoneme communication and dynamics
Vicki Gold, Bertram Daum, Steffen Scholpp and Steve West

Combining omics, synthetic and structural biology to functionally characterise viral dark matter and determine its role in host cell manipulation
Adam Monier and Vicki Gold

Mapping the early stages of tumour formation to find preventative therapeutic targets for tuberous sclerosis complex
Benjamin Housden, Kirsty Wan and Steve West

Investigating the neuromuscular synapse in motor neuron disease
Akshay Bhinge and Christian Soeller

Tightly coupled deep screening and deep sequencing of protein libraries
JJ Phillips, Fabrice Gielen and Fabrizio Costa

Time-resolved structural studies of mitotic branching-microtubule nucleation
James Wakefield and JJ Phillips

Molecular analysis of the Wnt receptor presentation during stem cell fate transition
Steffen Scholpp, Austin Smith, Fabrice Gielen and Kyle Wedgwood

Bioengineering naïve stem cell self-organisation to recapitulate the first steps in human embryo development
Ge Guo and Stefano Pagliara

Applying next generation structural biology methods to bacterial vaccine production
Nicholas Harmer and Vicki Gold

Modelling viruses in crowded biological environments
Wolfram Moebius, Daniel KattnigKrasimira Tsaneva and Bertram Daum

A machine-learning approach to identifying types of neurons based on cell morphology
David Richards and Akshay Bhinge

Charting the routes of functional switching in genome editing enzymes: a combined mathematical and experimental approach
Kyle Wedgwood and JJ Phillips

Protein choreography at high spatiotemporal resolution: modelling the dynamics of enzyme regulation to predict drug behaviour
Marc Goodfellow and JJ Phillips

Modelling how stress exposure during development alter an animal’s response to its environment.
Krasimira Tsaneva and Soojin Ryu

Multiscale bioimaging and modelling of the dynamics of eukaryotic cell invasion by an intracellular pathogen.
Bryony WilliamsKirsty Wan and Bertram Daum

How to apply

Please apply via this link by midday on 11 January 2021.

If you have any enquiries please contact Steven West:


Additional scholarship opportunity for students from China

Students from China can apply to join this programme via the China Scholarship Council (CSC).

You can apply either for one of the co-supervised projects above or to a project with an individual supervisor.

For more information see: CSC Scholarships