• PhD thesis in the frame of the DemiRNApy research project, recently funded by La Marató de TV3

Research position offered at the Institut Químic de Sarrià-Universitat Ramon Llull (Barcelona)


The Grup d’Enginyeria de Materials (Gemat) is looking for a recently graduated MSc to develop his/her PhD thesis in the frame of the DemiRNApy research project, recently funded by La Marató de TV3, 2021 call. The project is focused on the development of a polymeric nanoparticles,
encapsulating therapeutic miRNAs and with ability to cross the blood-brain barrier, to become a novel therapy for depressive disorder. In Gemat previous works, we have already developed a library of polymeric nanoparticles with demonstrated ability to efficiently encapsulate miRNAs and cross the blood-brain barrier after systemic administration thanks to the functionalization with active targeting moieties. Based on these previous results, DemiRNApy aims now to go a step further and demonstrate at a preclinical level, the therapeutic efficacy of this therapy for depressive disorder. Thus, we are looking for a PhD candidate to be integrated in the project. The candidate will be in charge on the synthesis of a library of nanoparticles, with enhanced capability to cross biological barriers to avoid invasive delivery routes, loaded with therapeutic miRNAs cocktails defined by the partners of the DemiRNApy project. The candidate will formulate these nanoparticles, characterize them physico-chemically (using techniques such as spectroscopy, light scattering, microscopy), and test them in vitro, using model cell cultures and analysis techniques such as confocal microscopy, flow cytometry, PCR, western blotting, as well as in vivo, by using murine models.

The candidate must:

  1. Hold a BSc and a MSc in Biotechnology, Bioengineering, Biomedical Sciences or Engineering, Materials Sciences, Chemistry or similar sciences.
  2. Have experience in a research laboratory focused to biomaterials / nanomedicine.
  3. Have knowledge and optionally expertise on the synthesis and design of polymers, formulation of polymeric nanomedicines, nano-characterization and cell culture experimentation.
  4. Having the animals experimentation course will also be evaluated positively.

The candidate will:

  1. Execute the proposed experiments.
  2. Eventually supervise MSc or undergraduate students.
  3. Support the research group in administrative, logistical and any other required task.
  4. Be involved in a young and dynamic research group.


Research topic

Design of polymeric nanoparticles, loaded with miRNAs, to be used as a therapeutic alternative for depressive syndrome patients.


Application deadline


Application documents

If you are interested to apply, please send a blind CV (meaning the CV without name or photo, and with the publications with all the names deleted, leaving only the title, journal and date), together with a motivation letter to rrhh@iqs.url.edu . Please include “Predoc DemiRNApy” in the subject line of your email.