AIRC-Funded Fellowship – Computational analysis of cell-cell interactions in 3D tumor models

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    AIRC - Fondazione AIRC per la Ricerca sul Cancro at Nanotechnology Institute of Cnr
    Natural sciences
    First Stage Researcher (R1) (Up to the point of PhD)


One fellowship for postgraduate students in the field of “Computational analysis of cell-cell interactions in 3D tumor models” is available in the group of Dr. Loretta del Mercato (http://intercellmed.nanotec.cnr.it) at Nanotechnology Institute of CNR in Lecce (Italy) within the My First AIRC Grant (MFAG-2019) “Nano-patterned metastatic melanoma for quantifying metabolic changes in mediated drug resistance”. The job vacancy involves the development and application of computational models for analyzing the response of optical sensors engineered into 3D cell systems (e.g., fibrous matrices or hydrogels) that reproduce in vitro the tumor microenvironment of metastatic melanoma by mimicking the mechanisms occurring between tumor and stroma. The research activities will include analysis of time-lapse fluorescence microscopy datasets in four dimensions (x,y,z,t) records through the development of ad hoc programs to:

1) identify, analyze and quantify cell growth (cell tracking);

2) quantify the response of optical ratiometric fluorescent sensors (spatial and temporal mapping of chemical gradients);

3) develop mathematical models based on statistical inference, machine-learning and data clustering for the analysis of cell-cell interactions, cell response to drugs and cell metabolism in complex 3D cell co-cultures.


  • Master of Science in Bioengineering, Physics, Mathematics or related.


  • Good knowledge of Matlab or other programming languages;

  • Knowledge of image segmentation methods as thresholding, k-means clustering, edge detection and watershed;

  • Experience with the use of Computer-Aided Design software (e.g. AutoCad, Solidworks, Pro / Engineering, Rhinoceros, Tanner Tool);

  • Knowledge of the main software for data and image analysis (e.g., CorelDraw, Adobe Illustrator, PhotoShop, Gimp, Inkscape);

  • Knowledge of MS Office;

  • Good level of English.

This position is available for 1 year, with the possibility of extension for a further year. Remuneration ranges will be between 15keuros to 24keuros per year based on the applicant’s experience.

Interested applicants should submit her/his CV and 2 contacts for recommendation by email to loretta.delmercato@nanotec.cnr.it with the subject line “AIRC-fellowiship in “Computational analysis of cell-cell interactions”. Applications are open until 30 October 2021. Review of applications will begin upon receipt.


The responsibility for the funding offers published on this website, including the funding description, lies entirely with the publishing institutions. The application is handled uniquely by the employer, who is also fully responsible for the recruitment and selection processes.