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Microsoft Research funded PhD studentship

3-year Microsoft Research funded PhD studentship

The Department of Pathology is offering a three-year Microsoft Research funded studentship starting in October 2017 under the supervision of Dr James Ajioka.

Project title: Smart molecular biosensors - Computational design and experimental implementation of biological signal processing.

The project will address fundamental questions regarding the application of biological signal processing in field-use biosensors. Specifically, ongoing research in the Ajioka lab suggests that environmental variability, such as temperature and other chemical contaminants affects the robustness of arsenic biosensor measurements. The development of smart biosensors incorporating biochemical signal processing could address these problems, allowing the fabrication of sensing devices suitable for applications ranging from pathogen detection to cancer diagnostics.
The project will build on the expertise of the Ajioka group in developing biosensors for the field (for example as part of the Arsenic Biosensor Collaboration and ongoing research in biological computation at Microsoft Research.

The student will (1) use a model driven approach to systematically investigate the advantages and limitations of combining sensing and signal processing functions within the same biochemical system in the context of biosensors, (2) design, experimentally implement, and characterize biochemical components as sensing and computational primitives. Both in vitro and cellular implementations will be addressed.

James Ajioka (Department of Pathology, University of Cambridge).
Peter Davenport (Department of Pathology, University of Cambridge).
Boyan Yordanov (Biological Computing Group, Microsoft Research Cambridge).

The candidate:
UK and EU Students who have, or are expecting to attain at least an upper second class honours degree (or equivalent) in relevant biological subjects, are invited to apply. The interdisciplinary nature of many of the projects available and the training modules means that we also welcome applications from students with physical science and mathematical backgrounds who are interested in using their skills in addressing biological questions. Due to the interdisciplinary nature of the project, a willingness to learn and become engaged with both the experimental and computational aspects of the work will be important.
Additionally, the Department requires that by the time of interview all potential students must have fulfilled the language requirements for admission

The closing date for applications is 31st December 2016. Interviews will be held week commencing 16th January 2017.

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 3 years in the first instance. The funding will be £23.000 pa which includes University and College fees that the student will be responsible for paying.

To Apply
Copies of the form can be downloaded below:

Download form PA22

Please send applications to:

**The studentships are available to UK nationals and EU students who meet the UK residency requirements. Further information about your fee status can be found at the following website:

Applications from ineligible candidates will not be considered.

Preferred candidates will be required to apply formally through completion of the University’s Applicant Portal. There is an application charge of (GBP Sterling) £50 per application

General queries regarding these positions should be directed to or 01223 333940.