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Postdoctoral Research Associate in Bone and Joint Biomechanics

University of Sheffield

Sheffield, United Kingdom

The Department of Oncology & Metabolism at The University of Sheffield provides a dynamic, exciting research environment with an internationally renowned portfolio of basic, clinical and translational research, encompassing the life course.

You will work on the enhancement of the assessment of bone and joint properties in preclinical studies, by combining experimental, imaging, image processing and computational approaches. In this project the post-holder will create and validate finite element models for the prediction of bone strength at each time point in mice scanned with in vivo microCT that allows for high-resolution scans of the mice tibia. Moreover, the post-holder will adapt our protocols to study in details bone changes in the mouse knee to evaluate the effect of OA. Finally, they will be involved in the design and creation of an online service that measures automatically the bone properties in different portions of the tibia and that can be used worldwide by other researchers. This work will lead to an improvement of preclinical research for studying musculoskeletal diseases and for testing new interventions.

Applicants should hold a PhD in Engineering, Physics or related disciplines (or be close to submission), and be familiar with experimental, imaging, image processing and computational modelling techniques for assessment of bone properties, as described in detail in the advert.

You will report to Dr Enrico Dall’Ara and be part of a leading research team. He will also have the opportunity to interact with the teams of Prof Ilaria Bellantuono (Skelet.Al) and Prof Marco Viceconti (Insigneo). The post is full time for 30 months.

Main Duties and Responsibilities
 Design and perform biomechanical testing on mice bones
 MicroCT scanning and analyses of mice bone and joint properties
 Design and analyses of MicroCT-based finite element (FE) models of the mouse tibia for strength predictions
 Validate and optimise FE models with outputs from compressive experiments
 Optimise the in vivo microCT scanning procedure for analysing the mouse knee
 Create an image processing framework (in matlab, python or other scripting languages) for analysing longitudinal changes in subchondral bone properties in the mouse knee
 Perform or assist in in vivo experiments on mice models of OA
 Perform histological analyses of OA knee joints
 Interact with the software developer working on the project and other researchers in the involved research groups (Dr Dall’Ara’s, Prof Bellantuono’s and Prof Viceconti’s);
 Integrate with the researchers and academics of related projects in bone biomechanics and imaging
 Write papers that are published in internationally peer-reviewed journals;
 Present work at National and International conferences;
 Maintain up-to-date knowledge of the relevant literature;
 Self-organise time to ensure the achievement of the objectives agreed with the group leader, and to continue to develop his/her knowledge in the domain of research;
 Effectively collaborate with colleagues, co-workers, partners, etc. to achieve the agreed objectives;
 Write technical reports both for internal monitoring and for reporting to external funding agencies;
 You will make a full and active contribution to the principles of the ‘Sheffield Academic’. These include the achievement of excellence in applied teaching and research, and scholarly pursuits to make a genuine difference in the subject area and to the University’s achievements as a whole.


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