NUIG-045-19, Postdoctoral Researcher, Multiscale Molecular Dynamics Modelling of Bone Biomechanics in Type-2 Diabetes
Biomechanics Research Centre (BioMec), NUI Galway

NUIG-045-19, Postdoctoral Researcher, Multiscale Molecular Dynamics Modelling of Bone Biomechanics in Type-2 Diabetes Biomechanics Research Centre (BioMec), NUI Galway

NUI Galway

Galway, Ireland

Applications are invited from suitably qualified candidates for a full-time Postdoctoral Researcher position Multiscale Modelling of Bone Biomechanics in Type-2 Diabetes at the Biomechanics Research Centre (BioMec), College of Engineering and Informatics, National University of Ireland, Galway. This position is funded through a European Research Council Starter Grant, MULT2D (Multiscale Mechanics of Bone Fragility in Type 2 Diabetes) under the supervision of Dr. Ted Vaughan (Google Scholar) and is available from 1st April 2019 to the 31st March 2021.


Project Background: The onset of Type-2 Diabetes is associated with increased bone fracture risk, despite the fact that bone volume is not reduced. This implies that T2 Diabetes impairs bone quality, whereby the intrinsic properties of the bone matrix itself are altered. It is widely believed that non-enzymatic glycation of proteins in the organic matrix underlie the pathogenesis of diabetic skeletal fragility. However, due to the complex nature of bone fracture events, there is a distinct lack of understanding of how altered protein mechanics impair functional properties in T2 diabetic bone disease. This project will develop a novel multiscale mechanics framework using state-of-the-art computational techniques to elucidate the physical mechanisms responsible for bone fragility.

This research will be conducted using the computational resources, equipment, technical expertise, office and research space within the College of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway. The new 14,000m2 Engineering building houses state-of-the-art Biomedical Engineering facilities, biomechanical testing laboratories, micro-CT scanning, microscopy, research space and computer suites. The Biomechanics Research Centre at NUI Galway also has direct access to the High-Performance Computing through the Irish Centre High End Computing (ICHEC)

Job Description: This successful candidate will use Molecular Dynamics Modelling to predict and develop key insight into the load-deformation behaviour of the organic matrix components in bone tissue. It is envisaged that atomistic modelling will be used to examine how changes that occur during Type-2 Diabetes, such as accumulations of non-enzymatic crosslinks between collagen and non-collagenous protiens, govern load-transfer and nanomechanical deformation between neighbouring molecules. A coarse-grain approach will be used to predict behavior of mineralized collagen micro-fibrils, and through an appropriate upscaling strategy, the predicted load-deformation behavior will be used to describe tissue-level material parameters in a Multiscale Finite Element framework.

Candidates interested should have a degree in Physics, Physical Chemistry, Mechanical Engineering, or closely-related discipline. Applicants must have several years of experience in carrying out molecular dynamics simulations of complex macromolecular systems.



The successful candidates will:

  • ·         Carry out atomistic-level molecular dynamics simulations of bone matrix components, including collagen and non-collagenous proteins.
  • ·         Carry out coarse-grain modelling of mineralized collagen micro-fibrils to understand load-deformation responses.
  • ·         Publish data in high impact factor journals and/or protect new intellectual property.
  • ·         Provide mentorship to PhD students within the research group.
  • ·         Be responsible for project-related management and preparation of project reports.
  • ·         Actively participate in national/international conferences and meetings

Qualifications/Skills required.

Essential Requirements:

  • Applicants must have a primary degree and Ph.D. in Physics, Physical Chemistry, Engineering or a related discipline(s).
  • Applicants must have first author publications in leading journals in the field of molecular dynamics of complex macromolecular systems.
  • Applicants must have experience of suitable MD-based software, Matlab software and macromolecular visualization programs.
  • Applicants must demonstrate evidence of a strong background in computational mechanics of materials.
  • Applicants should have excellent communication and organizational skills and should be highly motivated and passionate about development of advanced computational engineering solutions.

Desirable Requirements:

  • Experience in both atomistic and coarse-grain modelling of complex macromolecular systems.
  • Experience in Molecular Dynamics simulations of collagen and/or non-collagenous protein structures.
  • Experience in engineering programming languages (e.g. Fortran, C, Matlab, Python).
  • Experience in the finite element modelling and software (e.g. Abaqus, ANSYS).  

Salary: €39,530 - €43,030 per annum


Start date: Position is available from April 1st 2019


Continuing Professional Development/Training: Researchers at NUI Galway are encouraged to avail of a range of training and development opportunities designed to support their personal career development plans.  


Further information on research and working at NUI Galway is available on Research at NUI Galway


For information on moving to Ireland please see


Informal enquiries concerning the post may be made to Dr. Ted Vaughan at   


To Apply: Applications to include a covering letter, CV, and the contact details of three referees should be sent, via e-mail (PDF attachments only) to Dr. Ted Vaughan at   


Please put reference number NUIG-045-19 in subject line of e-mail application.



Closing date for receipt of applications is 5.00 pm (Irish Time), on 1st April 2019.


All positions are recruited in line with Open, Transparent, Merit (OTM) and Competency based recruitment. National University of Ireland, Galway is an equal opportunities employer.

Apply with CV and Cover Letter

Fields with a * are mandatory
Must be a .doc, .docx, or .pdf file and no larger than 1MBMust be a .doc, .docx, or .pdf file and no larger than 1MB

NUIG-045-19, Postdoctoral Researcher, Multiscale Molecular Dynamics Modelling of Bone Biomechanics in Type-2 Diabetes Biomechanics Research Centre (BioMec), NUI Galway