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School of Biological and Chemical Sciences, University of Galway PhD

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School of Biological and Chemical Sciences, University of Galway PhD

School of Biological and Chemical Sciences, University of Galway PhD

School of Biological and Chemical Sciences, University of Galway PhD.

School of Biological and Chemical Sciences, University of Galway, IRELAND

School of Biological and Chemical Sciences, University of Galway PhD position available

The use of marine bioadhesives in biomedical engineering

School of Biological and Chemical Sciences, School of Natural Sciences, and Centre for Research in Medical Devices (CURAM)- University of Galway

Applications are invited for a full-time, three-year PhD scholarship at the University of Galway, Ireland. The successful candidates will express recombinant barnacle cement proteins in Escherichia coli, and investigate their potential application (i) as a cell-adhesive surface coating in vitro and/or (ii) a bioadhesive for in vivo exploitation.

Project: University of Galway PhD

Adhesion in wet environments is a complex problem, with water, and particularly saline, greatly reducing the performance of many adhesives. The stalked barnacle Pollicipes pollicipes (Fig.1) uses a multi-protein cement to successfully adhere to highly varied substrates in marine environments.

This project builds on an ongoing study of the cp19k cement protein from P. pollicipes in our research groups.

The protein has been expressed in E. coli, purified and characterised using surface plasmon resonance, transmission electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy to date.

Conditions under which it self-assembles into long, highly structured amyloid fibres have been determined but the adhesive and viscoelastic properties of the protein remain to be understood.

The ultimate goal of the work is to develop the protein as a bioadhesive coating for in vitro and/or in vivo applications.

Fig 1: (a) P. pollicipes attached to rocks, with juvenile barnacles arrowed; (b) P. pollicipes in situ on an exposed rocky shore; (c) membranous base (orange arrow) of P. pollicipes and hardened cement (white arrow). Taken from Tilbury et al., Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B 374: 20190205.

Organisation: University of Galway PhD

Located in the vibrant cultural city of Galway in the west of Ireland, the University of Galway has a distinguished reputation for teaching and research excellence.

CURAM is a national, SFI-funded research centre, which aims to develop innovative medical devices to treat significant unmet medical needs using biomaterials, stem cells and drug delivery research.

Devices are developed with the support of clinical collaborators and industry partners to enable rapid translation to the clinic.

The successful candidate will work under joint supervision of Professor Gerard Wall (Microbiology, School of Biological and Chemical Sciences-recombinant proteins) and Dr Anne Marie Power (Zoology, School of Natural Sciences-marine zoology).


School of Biological and Chemical Sciences University of Galway, IRELAND


€18,500 per annum plus fees (EU rate), for three years. Start date: Up to October 1″ 2023.


BSc Degree (1″ class or 2.1) with a strong knowledge of molecular biology; strong research motivation and passion for developing new products; excellent communication and organisational skills; high level of spoken and written English. Experience in molecular biology, cell biology and protein/gene analysis would be an advantage.

How To Apply:

Applications comprising a covering letter, CV, statement of personal research interests and the contact details of two referees should be submitted via e-mail to gerard [email protected] by April 14th 2023. Informal enquiries can be sent to the same address.

We reserve the right to re-advertise or extend the closing date for this post. The University of Galway is an equal opportunities employer.

Further information on PhD programmes and entry requirements are available at University of Galway’s Research Postgraduate Programmes page.

School of Biological and Chemical Sciences