Heriot-Watt University

Research Associate in Microfluidic Design and Instrumentation

Heriot-Watt University

Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom

Research Associate in Microfluidic Design and Instrumentation

The Clinical Microfluidics group, headed by Dr. Maïwenn Kersaudy-Kerhoas, develops and utilises microfluidic platforms for the preparation of biological blood samples for the recovery of circulating cell-free nucleic acid markers. The laboratory is a friendly multi-disciplinary group fostering numerous collaborations between engineers, physicists, chemical engineers, materials scientists and biologists working towards a common goal: the development of robust, simple tools, to maximise the integrity of emerging circulating nucleic acid markers and potentially transform the way liquid biopsies are currently implemented.

Cell-free circulating nucleic acids biomarkers are increasingly being used to produce fast, robust diagnostic data, without the need for invasive sampling of tissues. However, the pre-analytical step is a bottleneck restricting their clinical implementation. The aim of this programme is to develop clinically and industrially-relevant novel micro and mesoscale fluidic technologies for a radical and sustainable new approach to medical sample preparation, instantly preserving biomarker integrity and reducing the time to result for critical tests.

We are seeking an engineer with an electronic, instrumentation, or a mechanical engineering background and preferably some experience of micro or millifluidic design, manufacturing and test.
Applications are welcomed from highly motivated, enthusiastic and organised individuals, with a good research track record in engineering, and demonstrable track record of scientific/engineering publications. Your role will specifically involve troubleshooting existing (high TRL) microfluidic chips and associated automated platforms for the extraction of circulating nucleic acids. You will have excellent experience with 2D and 3D CAD tools, and preferably have some experience of coding and electronic engineering. You will maintain excellent traceability of your work in view of commercial due diligence and publications. You will work closely with biologist colleagues to organise the biological characterisation of the microfluidic and benchmarking eluates. You will be organised and capable of designing modules of work leading to academic publications independently.

The position will prepare you for a possible transition to a technical position in a future spin-out, and applications from candidates with industrial background are strongly encouraged. Travel within UK, and possibly abroad in expected on a regular basis.

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