Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions

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

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    21/08/2021 11:00 - Europe/Brussels
    HE / MSCA
    Spain, Granada
    International Research Projects Office
    Promotion and Advisory Unit

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 Postdoctoral Fellowships (MSCA-PF) in 2021 at this University. Please note that applicants must comply with the Mobility Rule (more information about the 2020 call: http://sl.ugr.es/0aNV, the 2021 call is not yet open).

Brief description of the institution:

The University of Granada (UGR), founded in 1531, is one of the largest and most important universities in Spain. With over 60.000 undergraduate and postgraduate students and 6.000 staff. UGR offers a total of 89 degrees, 110 master’s degrees and 28 doctoral programmes through its 123 departments and 27 centers. Consequently, the UGR offers one of the most extensive and diverse ranges of higher education programmes in Spain.

The UGR has 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. UGR is also a leading institution in research, located in the top 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 - Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) (http://sl.ugr.es/0bsW). The UGR is amongst the 201-300 first universities of the world, between 2nd-5th position of Spanish universities and number 1 in the Andalusian Region in the Shanghai Top 500 ranking. Specialties at UGR that stand out are Library & Information Science (position 32) and Food Science & Technology (position 36). Moreover, the UGR is also situated amongst the first 100 universities in Mining & Mineral Engineering between (76th-100th position), in Mathematics (between 76th-100th position) and in Hospitality & Tourism Management (between 76th-100th position). The edition of the ARWU places the UGR in 201-300th 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.

Additionally, the UGR has 8 researchers at the top of the Highly Cited Researchers (HCR) list in Computer Sciences & Engineering (position 101-150). It is also well recognized for its web presence (http://sl.ugr.es/0a6i), being positioned at 43th 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 67 projects, with total funding of 18.029 million euros, and for H2020, 118 projects with total funding around 29.115 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, two postdoctoral researchers, two PhD students and one Ms student. We have active collaborations with different universities in the USA and in Europe.

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 antitumor and antibacterial drugs. If they are also coupled to an antibody, our BMNPs selectively recognize and efficiently release the drug, improved by hyperthermia. The coupled BMNPs have proven to reduce cancer cells viability and tumor size more efficiently than soluble drug with less secondary effects

They are also able to detect bacteria and, coupled to the relevant molecule, to also detect tace concentrations of contaminants, acting as effective biosensors. Moreover, they are efficient substrate for enxyme immobilization that improves stability of the enzyme and allow recycling, thus minimizing the costs of biotechnological processes.

Research Area:

  • Environmental Sciences and Chemistry (ENV-CHE)
  • Life Sciences (LIFE)
  • Physics (PHY)

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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