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The mission of the Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2) is to achieve the highest level of scientific and technological excellence in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology. Its research lines focus on the newly-discovered physical and chemical properties that arise from the behaviour of matter at the nanoscale. ICN2 has been awarded with the Severo Ochoa Center of Excellence distinction for three consecutive periods (2014-2018 and 2018-2022 and 2023-2026). ICN2 comprises 20 Research Groups, 7 Technical Development and Support Units and Facilities, and 2 Research Platforms, covering different areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology.

Job Title: Research Associate in Preclinical Neuropathology

Research area or group:Nanomedicine Group

Description of Group/Project:

The main lines of research in Nanomedicine@ICN2 include:

  • Nanomaterials as vector systems for therapeutic and diagnostic applications
  • Clinical translation of bioelectronic and microfluidic devices
  • Development of graphene and 2D materials in medicine
  • Discovery of novel biomarkers and therapeutic targets in oncology and neurology

Nanomedicine@ICN2 has expertise in research and development of novel types and medical applications of nanomaterials, with experience in the medical translation of liposomes and lipid nanoparticles, as well as carbon nanomaterials, such as carbon nanotubes and graphene. A wide range of nanomaterials developed as platforms for the biological transport of therapeutic and diagnostic components in cell culture and preclinical disease models. The primary therapeutic targets for clinical translation of these technologies have been cancer (solid and metastatic) and brain pathologies (Parkinson’s, stroke, Alzheimer’s, glioblastoma). Nanomedicine@ICN2 has strong links with the Nanomedicine Lab at the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health, The University of Manchester, in joint efforts to develop medicines at the nanoscale.

Main Tasks and responsibilities:

The Research Associate in Preclinical Neuropathology will undertake research using nanomaterials and neural interface devices used for stimulation, recording and as therapeutic molecule transport systems to the diseased central (CNS) and peripheral nervous system (PNS). Biological and electrophysiological investigations (including cell and tissue analysis using molecular techniques and functional assays) of the implanted devices and nanomaterials using primarily in vivo models will be performed. You will be expected to contribute to the establishment and maintenance of CNS disease models (Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, glioblastoma) in collaboration with other investigators within the Nanomedicine Lab, and other collaborative labs. You should be able to interact effectively with researchers from a range of other disciplines to contribute to the programme of research, particularly in the execution and management of in vivo preclinical disease neuropathology, including therapy. The researcher will work closely with the PI (Kostarelos) to validate the appropriate govermental and institutional lisensing for the performance of preclinical disease models in collaboration with the UAB Medical School.

You should hold a PhD in pharmacy, biomedicine, neuroscience, neurobiology, gene therapy of brain disease, neuropharmacology or neurooncology. You should have demonstrable previous neurosurgical experience and familiarity with use of neurodegenerative or neurooncological disease models for therapeutic or diagnostic purposes. Prior experience with in vivo brain cancer models will be particularly preferred. Previous experience in experimental research using devices, biomaterials or nanomaterials and evidence of a developing research publication track record would be advantageous.


  • Education:

PhD in pharmacy, biomedicine, biotechnology, neuroscience, neurobiology, gene therapy of brain disease, neuropharmacology, neurooncology or equivalent.

  • Knowledge and personal competences:
  • Essential:
  • The researcher appointed should be an enthusiastic and highly self-motivated individual, with previous postdoctoral experience in preclinical neuropathology, surgical skills and disease modellling.
  • Experience with neurosurgical techniques using preclinical disease models
  • Experience in establishment and use of neuropathological disease models, including brain cancer models
  • Experience with implantation of neural interface devices in the CNS or PNS
  • Experience in neuropathology skills (e.g. tissue sectioning, histology, immunostaining)
  • Excellent organisational and time-management skills, including the ability to deliver timely and high quality outputs
  • Ability to demonstrate scientific writing and communication skills
  • Ability to be creative in research ideas to develop/progress the research area
  • Ability to plan, organise, and undertake work without detailed supervision
  • Ability to develop effective working relationships with all levels of staff, students and external contacts
  • Ability to work under pressure and maintain a high degree of accuracy
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Ability to work effectively in a multi-disciplinary team
  • Ability to work independently, use own initiative, where appropriate, and be proactive in approach to work
  • Ability and enthusiasm to learn new skills outside own discipline
  • Desirable:
  • Experience with deep brain stimulation electrodes and devices for neural stimulation
  • Experience with establishment and use of preclinical (rodent) Parkinson’s Disease models, including motor function and behavioural tests
  • Experience and direct involvement in projects funded by the European Commission (under H2020, FP7, or earlier Framework programmes)
  • Experience in culturing and genetic modification of mammalian cells
  • Experience with extraction and culture of primary cells and their culturing protocols of neuronal origin
  • Previous experience of applying for research funding
  • Experience of supervising student research projects
  • Evidence of a developing track record in publishing and dissemination of high quality publications in peer-reviewed journals.

Summary of conditions:

  • Full time work (37,5h/week)
  • Contract Length: Temporary (30/09/24)
  • Location: Bellaterra (Barcelona)
  • Salary will depend on qualifications and demonstrated experience.
  • Support to the relocation issues.
  • Life Insurance.

Estimated Incorporation date: as soon as possible

How to apply:

All applications must be made via the ICN2 website and include the following:

  • A cover letter.
  • A full CV including contact details.
  • 2 Reference letters or referee contacts.

Deadline for applications: 17 September 2023

Equal opportunities:

ICN2 is an equal opportunity employer committed to diversity and inclusion of people with disabilities.

ICN2 is following the procedure for contract of people with disabilities according with article 59 of the Royal Decree 1/2015, of 30 of October.

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Plazo: 03-01-2024

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