Engineering Medicine Manufacture Processes for Cell and Stem Cell Based Therapies PhD

Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering
Entry requirements:
3 years
6 years
Reference number:
Start date:
01 April 2019
UK/EU fees:
International fees:
Application deadline:
09 October 2018



in the UK for research quality

REF 2014


in the UK for Mechanical Engineering

The Complete University Guide 2018


of 2 Queen's Anniversary Prizes


Loughborough University is a top-ten rated university in England for research intensity (REF2014) and an outstanding 66% of the work of Loughborough’s academic staff who were eligible to be submitted to the REF was judged as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’, compared to a national average figure of 43%.

In choosing Loughborough for your research, you’ll work alongside academics who are leaders in their field. You will benefit from comprehensive support and guidance from our Doctoral College, including tailored careers advice, to help you succeed in your research and future career. 

Project detail

Cell and Stem Cell based therapies are revolutionising medical treatment. Immunotherapies such as CAR-T cells are effectively treating previously terminal diseases and are poised to reach mass markets. However, many challenges remain to achieve cost effective and high-quality mass production. This project will investigate the challenges involved in achieving consistent cell yields and cell quality in the manufacture of cell therapies. The successful applicant will have the opportunity to work with processes for manufacturing diverse cell products such as red cells, platelets, immunotherapies or neural repair amongst others. A range of state of the art bioreactor systems at various scales will be used to determine the impact of the manufacturing environment on the cell product. Novel modelling approaches will be applied to quantify the relationship between operation of manufacture and key outcomes such as cell population distributions and cell proliferation. In addition to the bioreactor technology the project will have access to a comprehensive analytical suite including high throughput multi-colour flow cytometry, high throughput nutrient and metabolite analysis, cytokine profiling and gene expression analysis. This project is positioned to make a real impact on industrialisation of cell therapies through delivering an understanding of manufacturing process control for a new class of paradigm shifting medicines.


Primary supervisor: Robert Thomas

Secondary supervisor: Katie Glen

Find out more

For further project details email Professor Robert Thomas or register your interest and ask us a question.

To find out more about the School of Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering, please visit our website.

Entry requirements

Applicants should have, or expect to achieve, at least a 2:1 Honours degree (or equivalent) in a biological, engineering or bioengineering discipline.

A relevant Master’s degree and/or experience in one or more of the following will be an advantage: Cell culture and analytical techniques, bioprocess engineering, cell biology, biomanufacture.

All students must also meet the minimum English Language requirements.

Fees and funding


Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessment and operating University facilities such as the library, IT equipment and other support services. University fees and charges can be paid in advance and there are several methods of payment, including online payments and payment by instalment. Special arrangements are made for payments by part-time students.

This is an open call for candidates who are sponsored or who have their own funding. If you do not have funding, you may still apply, however Institutional funding is not guaranteed. Outstanding candidates (UK/EU/International) without funding will be considered for funding opportunities which may become available in the School.

How to apply

All applications should be made online. Under programme name select Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering. Please quote reference number: RTUF2018