Research Assistant on Bioengineering for patient-derived organoids for personalized medicine in NAFLD (PPCC-B-Org_1)

With the aim to recruit research staff for the implementation of one of the sixteen «Collaborative Projects» selected in Catalonia within the framework of the Complementary Plan for Biotechnology in Catalonia, this selection process is opened. This Complementary Plan is co-funded by the Ministry of Science and Innovation and the Generalitat de Catalunya under the C17.I1 of the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan (PRTR)

1. Introduction to vacant position

IDIBAPS Liver Cell Plasticity and tissue repair research group is looking for a Research Assistant in Bioengineering that will lead the development of organoids as well as the generation of optimized biomaterials for their culture. In addition, he/she will be responsible for disease modeling and evaluation of organoid metabolism and drug response.

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD-NASH) is the most common chronic liver disease in the world, with a prevalence of about 25%. To identify new therapeutic targets and drugs for NAFLD, it is necessary to develop preclinical human models that reproduce the disease, its heterogeneity and the characteristics of the patients suffering from it. To achieve this goal, a consortium of six partners has been created combining expertise in: clinical and pathophysiology of NAFLD (IDIBAPS, VHIR, HSCSP), patient-derived organoids (IDIBAPS), extracellular matrix and biomimetic scaffolds (UB), real-time molecular imaging evaluation (IBEC) and bioinformatics (TECNUN).

The main objectives of the project are:

1- Generate a collection of patient-derived organoids that recapitulate the different stages, pathophysiology, and heterogeneity of NAFLD;

2- Develop strategies for non-invasive real-time assessment of drug response using hyperpolarization nuclear magnetic resonance (HP-MR); 3- validate an organoid platform for drug testing.

The contract will be within the framework of the “Patient-derived liver biopsy-organoids for personalized medicine in NAFLD (non-alcoholic fatty liver disease): towards real time assessment of drug response” (B-Org) project prioritized by the IBEC under the “Plan Complementario de Biotecnología aplicada a la Salud” (biotechnology applied to health).

This Plan Complementario is co-financed by the Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación and the Generalitat de Catalunya, with funds from the European Union NextGenerationEU (PRTR-C17.I1)

2. The successful candidate will develop research involving:

The applicant will work under the supervision of Pau Sancho-Bru from IDIBAPS. She/He will carry out the following research activities:

  • Generate and characterize organoids derived from biopsies of patients at different stages of the disease. The organoids will be characterized at phenotypic and functional level and their cellular heterogeneity will be evaluated by single cell RNASeq.
  • Mimic the pathophysiology of the disease in biopsy organoids by developing biomaterials and disease mediators.
  • Use organoids to understand drug response mechanisms.
  • Evaluate biopsy organoids as a platform for real-time drug screening.

The activity will be developed mainly at the Liver Cell Plasticity and tissue repair research group at IDIBAPS, with close collaboration with the Molecular Imaging for Precision Medicine research group from IBEC and the Translational Lung Mechanobiology at UB.

3. Requirements for candidates


  • Master’s in bioengineering, biochemistry o related disciplines
  • Experience in 3D cell culture and molecular biology techniques
  • Competencies and skills: Communication, Teamwork and Collaboration, Commitment, Proactivity, Integrity, Critical and Analytical thinking
  • High level of English


  • Experience in bioinformatics/computing
  • Experience in biomaterials manipulation (hydrogels)

We Offer:

  • Number of available positions: 1
  • Starting date: Between 1st of April and the 16th of June 2023
  • Working conditions: 
  • Full time 18-month contract. Attractive salary
  • Measures to reconcile work and family life (maternity and paternity leave, flexible schedule working hours, teleworking, 23 working days of paid holidays, 9 leave days for personal matters, among others).
  • Stimulating, interdisciplinary research and high-quality international scientific environment.
  • IBEC ensures equality of access to professional development opportunities irrespective of employment status, length at IBEC or other factors. The IBEC’s yearly training catalogue offers a wide range of training in technical and transferable skills including mobility grants and a Mentoring programme for predoctral and postdoctoral researchers.
  • Induction programme to facilitate incorporation at IBEC and additional support is provided for foreigners to obtain Visa-working permit and to install in Barcelona.

How to apply:

Until February 10th an online application form is available through IBEC dedicated site:  

Only those applications submitted before the deadline will be evaluated.

Reference: PPCC-B-Org_1

If you have any further questions regarding your application or the application process, please get in touch with us at

If you have any questions regarding a project or the Complementary Plan, please get in touch with us at

Principles of the selection process:

IBEC is committed to the principles of the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers of the European Commission and the Open, Transparent and Merit based Recruitment principles (OTM-R).

IBEC’s Commitment on equal opportunity: Our strength and excellence as an international transdisciplinary Research Institute are based on diversity.  Being an equal opportunity employer, we are committed to diversity and inclusion, so that we support employees irrespective of their gender, nationality, religion, disabilities, age, sexual identity or cultural and socioeconomic background.”

Protection of personal data:

IBEC guarantees that candidates’ personal data are processed in accordance with the requirements of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and Law 3/2018 on Data Protection.

Personal data will be processed solely for the purposes of the selection process.

Who we are?

The Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia, IBEC is an interdisciplinary research center focused on Bioengineering and Nanomedicine based in Barcelona. IBEC is one of the top research institutions named as a Severo Ochoa Research Centre by the Ministry of Science, Universities and Innovation, which recognizes excellence at the highest international level in terms of research, training, human resources, outreach and technology transfer.

IBEC’s mission is to develop international high-quality interdisciplinary research that, while creating knowledge, contributes to making a better quality of life, improving health and creating wealth. A close link with key universities, reference hospitals and corporations, are assets that facilitate achieving the mission.

IBEC was established in 2005 by the Generalitat de Catalunya (Autonomous Government of Catalonia), the University of Barcelona (UB) and the Technical University of Catalonia (UPC).

IBEC is located within the Barcelona Science Park and is managing 3.800 square meters facilities, with an annual budget of 13 Mio€; 3.800 square meters of facilities; 21 research groups and a team of researchers and support services of 350 people from 30 different countries.