17/03/2020
Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions

MSCA-IF: Joint application at the University of Granada. Department of Microbiology.

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  • OFFER DEADLINE
    01/07/2020 13:00 - Europe/Brussels
  • EU RESEARCH FRAMEWORK PROGRAMME
    H2020 / Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions
  • LOCATION
    Spain, Granada
  • ORGANISATION/COMPANY
    International Research Projects Office
  • DEPARTMENT
    Promotion and Advisory Unit
  • LABORATORY
    NA

Professor Concepción Jiménez López, from the Department of Microbiology at the University of Granada, welcomes postdoctoral candidates interested in applying for a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowships (MSCA-IF) in 2020 at this University. Please note that applicants must comply with the Mobility Rule (more information: http://sl.ugr.es/0aNV).

Brief description of the institution:

The University of Granada (UGR), founded in 1531, is one of the largest and most important universities in Spain. The UGR has been awarded with the "Human Resources Excellence in Research (HRS4R)", which reflects the UGR’s commitment to continuously improve its human resource policies in line with the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers. The UGR is also a leading institution in research, located in the top 5/10 of Spanish universities by a variety of ranking criteria, such as national R&D projects, fellowships awarded, publications, or international funding.

UGR is one of the few Spanish Universities listed in the Shanghai Top 500 ranking (http://sl.ugr.es/0aw0). The Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) places the UGR in 268th position in the world and as the 4th highest ranked University in Spain, reaffirming its position as an institution at the forefront of national and international research. From the perspective of specialist areas in the ARWU rankings, the UGR is outstanding in Documentation (ranked in the 36th in the world) or Food science technology (ranked 37th in the world), Mathematics and Computer Science (ranked among the top 76-100 in the world).

The UGR has 4 researchers at the top of the Highly Cited Researchers (HCR) list in the Computer Science area. With regard to broader subject fields, the UGR is ranked in 45th position in the universities worldwide in the discipline of Engineering. It is also well recognized for its web presence (http://sl.ugr.es/0a6i) taking 36th place in the top 200 Universities in Europe. Internationally, we bet decidedly by our participation in the calls of the Framework Programme of the European Union. For the duration of the last two Framework Programmes, the UGR has obtained a total of 66 projects, with total funding of 18.02 million euros, and for H2020, 80 projects with total funding around 20.6 million euros.

Brief description of the Centre/Research Group

The research topic carried out by the group led by Prof. Jimenez-Lopez is highly multidisciplinary and it is focused on bacterial biomineralization. In particular, we study the in vitro formation of magnetic nanoparticles mediated by magnetosome proteins from magnetotactic bacteria and their nanotechnological applications. In our laboratory we express those proteins as recombinant ones, we purify them and use them to produce biomimetic magnetic nanoparticles with specific properties. We characterize the nanoparticles and funcionalize them with different molecules with the goal of using them as smart nanotransporters for a targeted chemotherapy and immunotherapy, and for hyperthermia treatments. We also produce magnetoliposomes comprising these nanoparticles. We use as well these nanoparticles for ecological applications to detect specific molecules in the environment. These nanoparticles and their applications have been recently patented.

Our group has had a continuous financial support from the Spanish government. The group is comprised by four Associate professors, a postdoctoral researcher, a PhD students and four Ms student. We have active collaborations with different universities in the USA, Italy and Israel as well as with many other researchers in Spain.

Project description

The proposal is based on the use of new biomimetic magnetic nanoparticles (BMNPs), recently patented, as drug carriers and hyperthermia agents for local treatments of diseases that may be targetable. We try to expand the range of molecules that can be coupled to these BMNPs with the goal of convert, when possible, systemic treatments to local. The proposed compounds could be used for the treatment of infectious diseases and for cancer. The important novelty of our BMNPs is the fact that, thanks to the MamC template effect that controls crystal growth, they display a larger magnetic moment per particle compared to other inorganic nanoparticles. This is important, since they respond strongly to an externally applied magnetic field and that improves the efficiency of the guidance of the BMNPs to the target site. Not only that, but also MamC becomes attached to the nanoparticles and changes their surface properties, providing it with functional groups that allow coupling with different molecules and their release at the target site based on electrostatic interaction and thus, able to respond to a natural stimuli such changes in the environmental pH. MamC also chelates iron and so, our BMNPs could also be used to selectively remove excess of iron from specific sites. Therefore, we also intend to physico-chemically characterize MamC to optimize such chelation.

Previous of our experiments demonstrated that our BMNPs are cytocompatible when naked and become cytotoxic when coupled to different drugs. If they are also coupled to an antibody, our BMNPs selectively recognize and efficiently release the relevant molecule at the target site, such a release improved by hyperthermia. The coupled BMNPs have proven to reduce cancer cells viability and tumor size more efficiently than the soluble relevant drug with less secondary effects.

Research Area

Chemistry (CHE) and Life Sciences (LIFE)

For a correct evaluation of your candidature, please send the documents below to Professor Concepción Jiménez López (cjl@ugr.es):

  • CV
  • Letter of recommendation (optional)

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