Contact & Opportunities

I welcome interest in our research and am open to exciting new collaborations, across a range of fields in biomechanics and mechanobiology. I can be contacted at s.verbruggen@sheffield.ac.uk

I am keen to welcome excellent prospective postdoctoral researchers and PhD students to the group. Competitive national and international funding opportunities for talented early career researchers are available at Sheffield, including schemes aimed at PhD students and at postdoctoral researchers. If you are interested in applying for a studentship or fellowship, please email Dr Verbruggen in the first instance with your CV.

Open Prospective PhD Projects:

Modelling of spinal biomechanics in multiple myeloma patients

Multiple myeloma (MM) is the second most common blood cancer, corrupting cells in the bone marrow. The vertebrae of the spine are porous and filled with bone marrow, so are particularly badly affected by MM. Vertebrae break down, leading to mechanical instability and vertebral collapse. Indeed 70% of patients have a fractured spine, leading to spinal cord (nerve) compression and/or spinal deformity. This causes life changing paralysis and loss of function.

Advances in chemotherapy have been hugely successful, with MM patient survival improving significantly in recent years.  However, the underlying cause of bone pain and fractures in the spine are poorly understood. The biomechanics of the spine in these conditions remain unknown and recovery is difficult to predict.

This PhD project will develop patient-specific computational models of MM spinal biomechanics, in collaboration with partners at Queen Mary University of London and the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, providing a greater understanding of adaptive bone healing and developing prognostic models to predict patient outcome.

Interested prospective PhD students are advised to contact Dr Verbruggen in the first instance with your CV.