Postdoctoral position for one Bioengineer in Microfluidic

One postdoctoral fellowship, fully-funded by AIRC, is immediately available for a Bioengineer with experience on Microfluidic and Organs-on-Chip devices concept and microfabrication in the laboratory of Dr. Luigi Nezi at European Institute of Oncology in Milan (IEO, Italy) in collaboration with Prof. Marco Rasponi at Politecnico of Milan (PoliMI). Nezi’s Lab aims to develop innovative approaches in cancer prevention and therapy by manipulating the microbiome (Science 2018, Science 2021). Moreover, our recent studies showed that compositional peculiarities of the tumor microenvironment drive infiltrating T cells into a metabolic dysfunctional state (J Ex Med 2020). Recently, we have shown that the crosstalk between different immune cell subpopulations contribute to cancer progression and some aspects of these interactions can be modeled on microfluidic chip devices (DOI: 10.1101/2021.12.14.472046v2). In collaboration with Prof. Rasponi, we have developed a novel 3D mechanically-activated gut-on-chip model and established a miniaturized platform to test therapy response on patient-derived tumor samples.

This project will laverage expertise on bioengineering, cell biology, tumor immunology and microbiology to integrate our established mechanically-activated 3D gut-on-chip model into a novel, multicompartment organ-on-chip platform. This will enable studying the interspecies metabolic crosstalk and the role played by the microbiome in tumor progression and response to therapy. You will have the possibility to interact with worldwide experts on microfluidic and bioengineering, tumor immunology and microbiome embedded in an international Campus. As part of this project, you will have full access to research laboratories both at IEO and PoliMI and you will:


  1. Design, microfabricate and test novel miniaturized devices for 3D cell culture
  2. Develop an integrated multicompartment organ-on-chip platform for microbiome and tumor immunology studies; 
  3. Employ the platform to investigate interspecies metabolic crosstalk and the role played by the microbiome in tumor progression and response to therapy
  4. Interact with a team that will help you validating in vitro findings as compared to in vivo pre-clinical mouse models.


Skills covered in this project:

  • Design and fabrication of miniaturized devices for cell culture applications
  • Setup of complex biological models within organs-on-chip platforms
  • Live imaging and quantitative confocal microscopy
  • Advanced Imaging analysis
  • Patient-derived tissues and immune cells handling and culturing
  • Immune cell characterization and functional assays
  • Transcriptional analysis

As candidate, you must hold a degree in Bioegineering or a similar discipline with a microfluidic or organs-on-chip focus, including experience on designing, production and validation of miniaturized chip (preferably working with PDMS). Scientific understanding of general research questions in molecular and cancer biology is also required. Experience on cell culture on-chip is a plus. Competitive salary based on professional experience.