Postdoctoral Researcher on Bioengineering / Biophysics for patient-derived organoids for personalized medicine in NAFLD (PPCC-B-Org_2)

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:

IBEC Molecular Imaging for Precision Medicine and UB Translational Lung Mechanobiology research groups are looking for a Postdoctoral Researcher in Bioengineering or Biophysics that will lead the development of biomaterials for organoid culture and the evaluation of organoids by hyperpolarization nuclear magnetic resonance (HP-MR). In addition, he/she will be responsible for the development of HP-MR hardware and software to optimize long-term organoid metabolism assessment.

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 HP-MR as a non-invasive metabolic and molecular imaging technology enabling real-time quantitative assessment of 13C-enriched tracer metabolites in cellular models; 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 Irene Marco-Rius from IBEC and Jordi Alcaraz from UB. She/He will carry out the following research activities:

  • Generation of biomaterials for modeling NAFLD pathophysiology in organoids. The investigator will be responsible for the development and characterization of bioscaffolds and materials for organoid growth, disease modeling and organoid evaluation by HP-MR.
  • Technical development and optimization of samples for HP-MR.
  • Development of hardware and software for quantitative assessment by HP-MR to provide day/week time course data for non-invasive assessment of metabolite flux in organoids.

The activity will be developed at both the Molecular Imaging for Precision Medicine research group at IBEC and the Translational Lung Mechanobiology at UB.

3. Requirements for candidates


  • PhD in in physics, chemistry, bioengineering or related disciplines
  • Experience in experimental techniques (preferably in the field of biomechanics and micro-copying) and data analysis with specialized software (Matlab, R, Python or similar)
  • Competencies and skills: Communication, Teamwork and collaboration, Commitment, Proactivity, Integrity, Critical and Analytical thinking
  • High level of English


  • Experience in nuclear magnetic resonance
  • Experience in manipulation of biomaterials (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 December 22nd an online application form is available through IBEC dedicated site:  

Only those applications submitted before the deadline will be evaluated.

Reference: PPCC-B-Org_2

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.