3 PhD scholarships in biopharmaceutical therapeutics and nanomedicines

DTU Nanotech
Wednesday 07 Mar 18

Apply for this job

Apply no later than 26 March 2018
Apply for the job at DTU Nanotech by completing the following form.

Apply online

The Novo Nordisk Foundation Centre for Intestinal Absorption and Transport of Biopharmaceuticals invites applications for 3 fully funded 3-year PhD positions in biopharmaceutical therapeutics and nanomedicine.

Biopharmaceuticals are critically important for current healthcare and hold the potential for new innovative treatments for many diseases and disorders. Unfortunately, many biopharmaceuticals are not absorbed by the intestines and have to be administered by other means (e.g., injection) rather than by tablets or capsules. The Centre for Intestinal Absorption and Transport of Biopharmaceuticals, located at the Technical University of Denmark in the Department of Micro- and Nanotechnology, is focused on developing new methods to significantly increase the absorption of biopharmaceuticals in the intestine so that these drugs may be administered to people as easy-to-swallow tablets and capsules. The Centre is a multidisciplinary research environment covering the interface between the life and physical sciences with particular emphasis on nanomedicines and the biointerface.

The 3 fully funded 3-year PhD positions are in the following projects:

A) Peptide and protein nanocarriers for biopharmaceutical delivery.  This project aims to develop next-generation peptide and protein nanocarriers for the improved oral delivery of biopharmaceuticals. These peptide and protein nanocarriers will not only deliver biopharmaceuticals to the intestinal wall but also facilitate the transport of the drug through the wall. The project will primarily focus on nanocarrier design, development and synthesis with secondary focus on nanocarrier-cell interactions.  

B) Synthesis of novel intestinal penetrating peptides as biopharmaceuticals. This project aims to understand the role of peptide chemical structure, peptide physicochemical properties and peptide-cell interactions to develop novel biopharmaceuticals with enhanced intestinal absorption. The project will primarily focus on peptide synthesis, peptide physical chemistry and peptide transport dynamics in cells.  

C) High throughput analysis of peptide-membrane interactions. This project aims to develop new high throughput methodologies to investigate peptide-membrane interactions. These new methodologies will be used to provide new insight into peptide-membrane interactions, facilitating the design and develop new biopharmaceuticals with enhanced intestinal absorption.

The Centre for Intestinal Absorption and Transport of Biopharmaceuticals is a global initiative with satellite teams located at Harvard Medical School, Boston Children’s Hospital and Monash University. PhD students will spend a period of time during the 3 years in one or more of these satellite laboratories.

Responsibilities and tasks
The PhD students will work as part of a team of scientists and engineers within the Centre and external collaborators. Willingness to work in an international environment is essential.

You will have the following responsibilities/tasks:
  • Conducting research at a high international level independently and within a team
  • Following research plans to achieve major and minor goals linked to the Centre’s aims
  • Disseminating your research and helping support teaching activities associated with the Centre
  • Conducting yourself in a professional manner
Please indicate which position you are applying for in your cover letter.

Candidates should have a master's degree in engineering or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to the master's degree in engineering.

In addition, successful applicants must demonstrate the following:
  • A strong background in the physical sciences, preferably with a Master’s degree in Chemistry or related topics (e.g., pharmacy, chemical engineering, material science, bionanotechnology, biophysics, etc.). Experience with relevant life sciences (e.g., cell biology, physiology etc.) is a bonus but not essential. 
  • The ability to work both independently and in a team within interdisciplinary fields
  • A high degree of personal motivation
  • Creative and critical thinking skills
  • Excellent communication skills in English (oral and written)
Approval and Enrolment
The scholarships for the PhD degree are subject to academic approval, and the candidates will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes of DTU. For information about the general requirements for enrolment and the general planning of the scholarship studies, please see the DTU PhD Guide.

The assessment of the applicants will be made by Associate Professor Andrew Urquhart and Professor Thomas Andresen.

We offer
DTU is a leading technical university globally recognized for the excellence of its research, education, innovation and scientific advice. We offer a rewarding and challenging job in an international environment. We strive for academic excellence in an environment characterized by collegial respect and an academic freedom tempered by responsibility.

Salary and appointment terms
The appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed with the relevant union. The period of employment is 3 years.

You should be able to start no later than 1 June 2018.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here.

Further information
Further information may be obtained from Associate Professor Andrew Urquhart, +45 4525 8169 or anur@nanotech.dtu.dk.

You can read more about DTU Nanotech at www.nanotech.dtu.dk.

Please submit your online application no later than 26 March 2018 (local time).

Applications must be submitted as one PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply online", fill in the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one PDF file. The file must include:
  • A letter motivating the application (cover letter)
  • Curriculum vitae 
  • Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma
  • Excel sheet with translation of grades to the Danish grading system (see guidelines and Excel spreadsheet here)
Candidates may apply prior to obtaining their master's degree, but cannot begin before having received it.

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.

DTU Nanotech - the Department of Micro- and Nanotechnology - is situated in the northern part of Copenhagen. DTU Nanotech is a centre of excellence in micro- and nanotechnology utilising sciences across the traditional boundaries of technology, thereby enabling innovative solutions for the benefit of society. DTU Nanotech has approximately 220 staff members, of which 40% are international.

DTU is a technical university providing internationally leading research, education, innovation and scientific advice. Our staff of 5,800 advance science and technology to create innovative solutions that meet the demands of society; and our 11,000 students are being educated to address the technological challenges of the future. DTU is an independent academic university collaborating globally with business, industry, government, and public agencies.