Postdoc in Synthesis of Compounds for the Fabrication of Artificial Red Blood Cells

Tuesday 23 Mar 21

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A postdoctoral position is available at the Biomimetics, Biocarriers and Bioimplants group (The 3Bs) headed by Assoc. Prof. Leticia HostaRigau, DTU Health Tech, Technical University of Denmark, Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark.

The 3Bs is a highly interdisciplinary and positive group with openminded and supportive members. The research conducted at The 3Bs lies on the interface of materials science, organic/polymer chemistry together with molecular and cell biology. The research focus areas of the group are drug delivery, tissue engineering and cell mimicry.

The 3Bs are well embedded into the Biomimetics section, where multiple young research groups work closely together to create a motivating environment.

With this announced position, we will evaluate the potential of a haemoglobinbased oxygen carrier (HBOCs) to be used when donor blood is not an option or not available. In order to develop highly-sophisticated and tailor-made HBOCs, the synthesis of several compounds (e.g., peptides and polymers) is required.

The Research Project
Blood is crucial for our survival and the only way to substitute for blood loss occurring during accidents or surgery is by using blood from donors. However, blood transfusions have some limitations and risks: before blood can be transfused, there is a need for typing and matching due to the different blood groups causing fatal delays in emergency situations. Also, blood has a short storage lifetime, which makes it impossible to create large blood supplies to be used in acute disasters such as earthquakes or plane accidents. Furthermore, blood transfusions can help spreading new viral infections, like it happened with HIV in the 80s.

Thus, developing a new oxygencarrier solution for use when red blood cells are neither an option or available persists as one of the foremost important challenges in biomedicine.

The successful candidate will work in a highly interdisciplinary project in the interface of polymer chemistry, materials science together with molecular and cell biology. 

The research project will be focused in the fabrication and evaluation of a new class of microcarriers with potential to serve as substitutes for red blood cells to be used in situations where donor blood is not available.

The successful candidate will be responsible to:

  • Synthetize several compounds required for the fabrication of artificial red blood cells. These compounds will be mainly small peptides but polymers might also be required. This will be the main task of the project
  • Assemble hemoglobinloaded polymeric carriers using the previously synthetized tailor-made compounds
  • Conduct a thorough characterization of the system by means of several techniques (e.g., optical microscopy, flow cytometry, fluorescence spectroscopy, DLS)

As a formal qualification, you must hold a PhD degree (or equivalent). The PhD should be in polymer or peptide chemistry but other relevant disciplines such as materials science as long as the candidate has experience in the synthesis of peptides are accepted.

Specifically we are looking for a candidate that has demonstrable evidence in:

  • Solid phase peptide synthesis
  • Polymer chemistry
  • Having a strong background in colloids and interfaces
  • Having a general overview of how to fabricate and characterize drug delivery system

Preference will be given to candidates with:

  • Strong publication record
  • Innovative skills, ability to generate new ideas and to implement them in the experimental field
  • Independent problem solving skills
  • Excellent communication and language skills
  • Proficiency in English
  • Experience in co-supervising MSc and PhD students
  • Experience from international collaborative projects

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 academic freedom tempered by responsibility.

Salary and terms of employment
The appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed upon with the relevant union. The period of employment is initially for one year. The position is available as soon as possible.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here

Further information
Further information may be obtained from Assoc. Prof. Leticia Hosta-Rigau,

You can read more about DTU Health Tech at and our research group at The 3Bs group

If you are applying from abroad, you may find useful information on working in Denmark and at DTU at DTU–Moving to Denmark.

Application procedure
Your complete online application must be submitted no later than 20 April 2021 (Danish 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 out the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one PDF file. The file must include:

  • Application (cover letter)
  • CV including employment history, H-Index, citations and ORCID
  • Academic Diplomas (MSc/PhD)
  • List of publications indicating scientific highlights
  • One-page summary of your PhD thesis

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

DTU Health Tech engages in research, education, and innovation base on technical and natural science for the healthcare sector. The Healthcare sector is a globally expanding market with demands for the most advanced technological solutions. DTU Health Tech creates the foundation for companies to develop new and innovative services and products which benefit people and create value for society. DTU Health Techs expertise spans from imaging and biosensor techniques, across digital health and biological modelling, to biopharma technologies. The department has a scientific staff of about 175 persons, 130 PhD students and a technical/administrative support staff of about 80 persons.

Technology for people
DTU develops technology for people. With our international elite research and study programmes, we are helping to create a better world and to solve the global challenges formulated in the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Hans Christian Ørsted founded DTU in 1829 with a clear vision to develop and create value using science and engineering to benefit society. That vision lives on today. DTU has 12,000 students and 6,000 employees. We work in an international atmosphere and have an inclusive, evolving, and informal working environment. Our main campus is in Kgs. Lyngby north of Copenhagen and we have campuses in Roskilde and Ballerup and in Sisimiut in Greenland.