PhD scholarship in Biophysical Nanomedicine

onsdag 11 sep 19

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Frist 25. september 2019
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A PhD studentship is available in biophysical nanomedicine at The Novo Nordisk Foundation Centre for Intestinal Absorption and Transport of Biopharmaceuticals (CitBIO).

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

We believe employing advanced fluorescent microscopy techniques to provide detailed mechanistic understanding of how biopharmaceuticals, including peptides, are transported across cellular barriers will be critical in developing new and better oral administered drugs. This development can be further advanced with the implementation of new image based membrane assays capable of directly visualizing biopharmaceutical membrane translocation and thus elucidate the peptide molecular motifs and membrane parameters that governs barrier transport. So far, the oral delivery of biopharmaceuticals has been significantly hampered by low levels of absorption by the intestines and these drugs therefore have to be administrated by other means, e.g. injections. Since biopharmaceuticals are critically important for current healthcare and hold the potential for new innovative treatments for many diseases and disorders, the CitBIO center is focused on developing new methods to significantly increase the absorption of biopharmaceuticals in the intestine. The CitBIO Center is a multidisciplinary research environment covering the interface between the life and physical sciences with particular emphasis on nanomedicines and the biointerface. The CitBIO Center has a strong focus on elucidating the chemophysical properties of (modified) biopharmaceuticals that drive intestinal transport through the application of multiple fluorescence imaging modalities. To this end the CitBIO Center is in the process of setting up a new imaging facility with newly acquired state-of-the-art commercial and home build microscopes.

The fully funded 3-year PhD student will pursue following interdisciplinary project:

Development of fluorescent based quantitative microscopy assays for elucidating the biophysical mechanisms underlying the transport of pharmaceutical active peptides across membranes. Newly synthesized peptide candidates produced within the CitBIO Center will be studied both using artificial membrane model systems and cellular derived membrane constructs. The aim is to determine the peptide-, membrane- and cellular components that regulate and drive peptide translocation. 

The CitBIO center is a global initiative with satellite teams located at Harvard Medical School, Boston Children’s Hospital and Monash University. PhD students will have the opportunity to spend a period of time during the 3 years in one or more of these satellite laboratories. 

Responsibilities and tasks 
The candidates 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. The candidate will have the following responsibilities/tasks: 

  • Learn to and conduct research at a high international level independently and within a team.
  • Conduct themselves in a professional manner.
  • Follow research plans to achieve major and minor goals linked to the Centre’s aims. 
  • Disseminate their research and help support teaching activities associated with the Centre.

The PhD candidate should be able to start at the latest by 1st of October 2019, however the start date could be flexible. 

Candidates should 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.

The successful applicants must demonstrate the following: 

  • A strong background in the physical sciences, preferably with a Master degree in physics/biophysics, analytical chemistry or related topics (e.g. pharmacy, chemical engineering, material science, bionanotechnology etc.). Experience of relevant life sciences (e.g. cell biology, physiology etc.) is a bonus, but not essential. 
  • Experience with fluorescence microscopy will be highly desirable and knowledge on quantitative image analysis a strong advantage.
  • Experience with biophysical characterization of peptide-membrane interaction and a basic knowledge of how membrane properties relates to membrane function
  • An Interest in elucidating fundamental biological mechanisms and how this new knowledge can be related to producing new solutions within The Center 
  • 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 scholarship for the PhD degree is subject to academic approval, and 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 the DTU PhD Guide.   

The assessment of the applicants will be made by Post Doc Jannik Bruun Larsen and Associate Professor Jens Bæk Simonsen. 

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 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.

The student will be based at DTU Health Technology, DTU Lyngby Campus.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here.  

Further information
Further information may be obtained from Post Doc Jannik Bruun Larsen, email: tel: +45 4525 8123.   

You can read more about DTU Health Technology on   

Please submit your online application no later than 25 September 2019 (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.

Applications and enclosures 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 Techs expertise spans from imaging and biosensor techniques, across digital health and biological modelling, to biopharma technologies.

DTU is a technical university providing internationally leading research, education, innovation and scientific advice. Our staff of 6,000 advance science and technology to create innovative solutions that meet the demands of society, and our 11,200 students are being educated to address the technological challenges of the future. DTU is an independent university collaborating globally with business, industry, government and public agencies.