Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Coláiste Ríoga na Máinleá in Éirinn

PhD: Prof. Fergal O'Brien - Development of advanced biomaterials for bone and cartilage regeneration

The aim of this project is to enhance the bone and cartilage-forming potential of materials developed by TERG/SurgaColl by using DNA or RNA, to control mesenchymal stem cell hypertrophy.

Project title

Development of advanced biomaterials for bone and cartilage regeneration

  • Supervisor: Prof. Fergal O’Brien, Tissue Engineering Research Group (TERG), RCSI
  • Co-supervisors: Dr John Gleeson, CTO, SurgaColl Technologies

Project description

This project will be carried out in the TERG at the RCSI in close collaboration with SurgaColl Technologies where the researcher will spend time in the manufacturing facility.

Spun-out from the TERG in 2010 based on two products developed by Prof. O’Brien and Dr Gleeson, SurgaColl is an innovative medical device company developing and commercializing regenerative products for the repair of bone, cartilage and other tissues.

The student will work closely with other members of a large multidisciplinary project team including PIs, clinicians, postdoctoral and postgraduate researchers. Ideal applicants will have a 1st Class Honours Bachelor’s degree and/or MSc degree (with 2.1 honours from primary degree) in biomedical engineering, materials science, regenerative medicine or related disciplines. Excellent written and oral communication skills desired.

Specific skills which might enhance a candidate’s application include experience in some of the following: scaffolds in tissue engineering, nanoparticle formulation/characterisation, cell culture & transfection with DNA/RNA, advanced microscopy and molecular biology experience.

  • Research theme: Bioengineering
  • Keyword: Bone/cartilage repair, DNA/RNA delivery, MSC hypertrophy

Application process

This position is funded by European Commission - Innovative Training Networks 2017. CVs with the names and addresses of three referees should be submitted to: Prof. Fergal O'Brien, Dept. of Anatomy, RCSI. Email:

Mentors Prof. Fergal O’Brien