PhD position in Chemistry and Immunology

Friday 02 Sep 22

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Apply no later than 1 October 2022
Apply for the job at DTU Health Tech by completing the following form.

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Starting December 1, 2022 (or shortly thereafter), the Technical University of Denmark (DTU), Department of Health Technology in collaboration with the Department of Chemistry is looking for a PhD position in Chemistry and Immunology

Research Project
The project is titled: Development of a novel immunotherapy for skin cancer. 

A number of tumors are classified as “cold”, referring to the fact that there is minimal effector T cell infiltration at the tumor microenvironment (TME) or T cells are actively being suppressed by TME factors. This poses a particular problem when trying to treat these tumors by T cell-based therapies such as immune checkpoint inhibitors, since often patients do not respond, and their immune system remains only marginally reactive to the tumor. In this project, our hypothesis is that activation of a localized innate response will turn “cold” tumors into “hot” by initiating or rejuvenating existing T cell responses. The main aim is to synthesize a set of small organic compounds and investigate different delivery technologies to identify conditions that allow successful penetration of the skin in order to test their ability to induce immune responses and improve anti-tumor immunity. The project is based on our preliminary data suggesting that specific compounds can induce very strong innate cell activation upon skin delivery. The successful candidate will utilize synthetic and formulation chemistry as well as mouse immunology in synergy to achieve the goals of the of project.

Research group and environment
The project will be carried out as a collaboration between the groups of Dr Vasileios Bekiaris (DTU Health Tech), Dr Andrew Urquhart (DTU Health Tech) and Dr Katrine Qvortrup (DTU Chemistry).

Combined at our departments, we have generated a vibrant and very productive research environment in Immunology, Formulation and Synthetic Organic Chemistry as well as Drug Delivery, with all the required facilities and expertise.


Education and Research Skills
You must have a two-year master's degree (120 ECTS points) or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to a two-year master's degree.

We are looking for a candidate with a strong background in organic synthesis coupled with good knowledge of cell biology and/or biochemistry. Skills in drug delivery and/or immunology would be an advantage.

The successful candidate should have completed a MSc thesis based on experimental work. Additional lab experience either through courses, projects or internships would be advantageous.  

Personal Skills
We are looking for students that function well in a team environment, hold collegial respect to a high standard, are highly motivated and hardworking, and have research excellence as their top priority. Proficient skills in English is necessary.      

Assessment, approval and enrolment
Assessment of applications will be made by Dr Vasileios Bekiaris, Dr Andrew Urquhart and Dr Katrine Qvortrup.

According to DTU and national regulations, the successful candidate will require further academic approval by the local PhD committee to ensure academic qualifications. Once approved, the candidate will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes at DTU. For information about our enrolment requirements and the general planning of the PhD study programme, please see DTU's rules for the PhD education.

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 upon with the relevant union. The period of employment is 3 years.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here.

Further information
Further information may be obtained from Dr. Vasileios Bekiaris, e-mail:

You can read more about the Department for Health Technology at and about the Department of Chemistry at

If you are applying from abroad, you may find useful information on working in Denmark and at DTU at DTU – Moving to Denmark. Furthermore, you have the option of joining our monthly free seminar “PhD relocation to Denmark and startup “Zoom” seminar” for all questions regarding the practical matters of moving to Denmark and working as a PhD at DTU.

Application procedure
Please submit your online application no later than 1 October 2022 (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:

  • A cover letter (max 500 words)
  • Curriculum vitae (max 2 pages): degrees with dates and place must be clearly stated; only relevant previous work experience must be stated; you should state the contact information of at least two academic referees, one of which must be the project supervisor of your MSc thesis.   
  • A one-page summary of your MSc thesis
  • Two reference letters, one of which must be from the project supervisor of your MSc thesis.       
  • Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma

Incomplete applications will not be considered. You may apply prior to ob­tai­ning your master's degree but cannot begin before having received it.

Applications received after the deadline will not be considered.

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, 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 Tech’s expertise spans from imaging and biosensor techniques, across digital health and biological modelling, to biopharma technologies. The department has a scientific staff of about 210 persons, 140 PhD students and a technical/administrative support staff of about 160 persons, of which a large majority contributes to our research infrastructure and related commercial activities.

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 13,400 students and 5,800 employees. We work in an international atmosphere and have an inclusive, evolving, and informal working environment. DTU has campuses in all parts of Denmark and in Greenland, and we collaborate with the best universities around the world.