Post-Doctoral Researcher, School of Pharmacy

University College Cork


September 30, 2022


Post-Doctoral Researcher, School of Pharmacy

1.5 Year, Fixed-Term, Whole-time Post

Applications are invited for a position of Post-Doctoral Researcher in Pharmaceutics at the School of Pharmacy, University College Cork, Ireland.

Position summary

We are looking for an exceptionally enthusiastic, creative, and driven Post- Doctoral Researcher with a passion for interdisciplinary science to join GENEGUT Research and Innovation Action which received funding from the European Commission under the HORIZON-HLTH-2021-TOOL-06 Programme Grant Agreement number 101057491. The GENEGUT brings together a multidisciplinary team of nine European partners and aims to develop a first-in-class, orally administered RNA-based therapy for ileal Crohn's disease which selectively targets novel nucleic acid-based therapeutic modalities to the diseased site in the small intestine. GENEGUT will tackle this delivery dilemma by utilising novel biomaterials to formulate RNA NPs, which will be delivered orally in a device engineered to achieve site-specific intestinal release and accumulation locally in diseased intestinal tissue. For more information about the project please see: https: //

Oral administration of RNA-drugs is a new and exciting challenge that will build on 25 years of experience in the development of RNA therapeutics and oral drug delivery in the UCC School of Pharmacy. The successful candidate will be co-supervised by Prof. O'Driscoll and Dr. Kowalski and will closely interact PhD students and cooperating partners. The project will focus on the design and evaluation of nano formulations containing a range of RNA cargos including; short interfering RNA (siRNA) and, messenger RNA (mRNA) for oral delivery. The formulations will be engineered using novel biomaterials based mainly on functionalized cyclodextrins (O'Driscoll lab) and novel polymers (Kowalski lab) and formulated into nanoparticles (NPs) via a range of processing techniques including microfluidics. The NPs will be designed to meet stability in biological fluids including gastro intestinal fluids. Pivotal proof-of-efficacy will be demonstrated in a pig model of chronic intestinal inflammation and a 3D multi-cellular model of ileal CD.

Prospective candidates should have:

  • Evidence of peer-reviewed publications in international scientific journals

  • Prior practical laboratory experience and the capability to work independently

  • Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to contribute in a multidisciplinary team setting

  • Excellent oral/written communication skills

  • Candidates with a Ph.D. degree in pharmacy, pharmaceutical sciences, biomedical or chemical engineering, biotechnology, or a related field are highly encouraged to apply

  • Experience in one or more of the following areas will be desirable: oral drug delivery, RNA delivery, chemical synthesis, nanoparticle formulation and characterization, intestinal cell culture models, assay development and animal work.

  • About Professor Caitriona M. O'Driscoll (PI)

    I am Professor and Chair of Pharmaceutics in the School of Pharmacy, University College Cork, Ireland. Originally a Pharmacist, I have over 25 years of experience as a drug delivery scientist. My research interests are translational in nature and include oral and parenteral delivery of nano- therapeutics incorporating nucleic acids, formulated using novel biomaterials. I have over 120 publications and 3 patents on the applications of functionalized cyclodextrins as drug delivery platforms. I have a long history of mentoring and successfully supervising PhD students and postdoctoral researchers. I am the coordinator of the GENEGUT project, for further information please refer to: https:// and https: // www.

    About Dr. Piotr S. Kowalski (PI)

    I am a biochemist by training with a passion for interdisciplinary biomedical research and entrepreneurship. I have completed my scientific training in five different countries, including Poland (Jagiellonian University), the Netherlands (Groningen University), and USA (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). I have 12 years of mentoring, teaching, and leadership experience both in academic and industrial settings. My current work resulted in over twenty published research articles, the invention of four patents on drug delivery technologies, and the creation of a Cambridge-based biotech startup. For more information please refer to: https: // www. and https://

    About the University College Cork

    UCC is a leading Irish university with an international reputation in innovation, and entrepreneurship. It is ranked in the top 2% of universities worldwide based on the quality of its research outputs and peer esteem indicators and was the first University to be named The Sunday Times University of the Year for two consecutive years (2016 and 2017). UCC has a vibrant research community of almost 3,500 postgraduate students and over 250 postdoctoral researchers, across all the major academic disciplines. UCC has active postdoctoral associations and programs that aim to provide support for all aspects of a postdoc's career, including professional development training and everyday work. UCC is the host and partner of leading Irish research centers, including APC Microbiome Ireland SFI Research Centre and Tyndall National Institute providing the access to state-of-the-art research expertise and core facilities. School of Pharmacy is ranked in the top 100 in the QS World Rankings by Subject in 2021 and is a part of the College of Medicine and Health, a very interactive environment with multidisciplinary academic teams providing plenty of opportunities to network with world-class scientists and clinicians. UCC is an accredited research organisation and as such can form hosting agreements with third country nationals (and non-EEA nationals) for the purpose of conducting research in the University.

    Post Duration: 1.5 year

    Salary: €39,522 - €45,609 p.a. (IUA PD1 Salary Scale)

    Project Title: Oral delivery of encapsulated RNA nanotherapeutics for targeted treatment of ileal Crohn's disease

    For an information package including further details of the post see https: //

    Informal inquiries can be made in confidence to Prof Caitriona O'Driscoll, School of Pharmacy, Email: . Please include “ Postdoc GeneGut ” in the subject line of your email.

    Applications must be submitted online via the University College Cork vacancy portal (https: // Queries relating to the online application process should be referred to, quoting the job-title and project name.

    Please include in your application a CV, including contact details of at least two referees, and a cover letter.

    Candidates should apply, in confidence, before 12 noon (Irish Local Time) on Friday, 30 September 2022. No late applications will be accepted.

    Please note that an appointment to posts advertised will be dependent on University approval, together with the terms of the employment control framework for the higher education sector.

    UCC is committed to creating and fully embracing an inclusive environment where diversity is celebrated. As a University we strive to create a workplace that reflects the diversity of our student population where people from a wide variety of backgrounds learn from one another, share ideas, and work collaboratively. UCC is committed to being an employer that recognises the value of diversity amongst its staff. We encourage applicants to consult our policies at https: // www. and initiatives at https: // www. and we welcome applications from everyone, including those who are underrepresented in the protected characteristics set out in our Equal Opportunities & Diversity Policy.


    Contact Person : Professor Caitriona O'Driscoll Contact Email : Job ID : 059891 Contact Number : Close Date : 30-Sep-2022 12:00