Universiteit Leiden

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PhD position in synthetic polymer chemistry

Vacature nummer
Intern , Extern
Publicatie datum
30 augustus 2022
30 september 2022 Vacature gesloten

The group of Dr. Joachim Van Guyse at the Leiden Academic Center for Drug Research (LACDR) has an opening for 1 PhD position in synthetic polymer chemistry. The PhD student will participate in a project focused on engineering polymers for the delivery of nucleic acids, messenger (m)RNA in particular. The overall aim of the research is to develop novel poly(2-oxazoline)-polypeptide block-copolymers, lipid-polymer conjugates and nucleic acid formulations thereof by employing new synthetic methodologies and state of the art techniques.

The research topic in this position involves the development of structure-activity relationships of the synthesized block-copolymers and lipid-polymer conjugates in the development of nucleic acid formulations to facilitate systemic circulation and improve the biodistribution of nucleic acid therapeutics.

Objectives: 1) Synthesis and characterization of poly(2-oxazline)-polypeptide block copolymers and poly(2-oxazline)-lipid conjugates, bioconjugation of targeting ligands and conjugation of imaging moieties 2) formulation development using state-of-art techniques, e.g. microfluidics; 3) in-depth physicochemical characterization of the formulations, followed by in vitro and in vivo evaluation of selected systems with respect to gene expression, cellular uptake, mRNA stability, biodistribution and circulation.

The candidates should have a Master’s degree in synthetic chemistry, polymer chemistry or Materials science with a strong background in polymer or organic synthesis, ideally with experience in the polymerization of 2-oxazolines and/or NCAs. Moreover, knowledge or experience regarding characterization techniques (MALDI-TOF-MS, light scattering, SEM/TEM, Fluorescence (e.g. FRET)) is required. Besides well-founded chemical expertise, a keen interest in the application of material science to their biological evaluation and interest in therapeutic needs is expected. We are looking for team players that are capable to independently plan and execute their research tasks within an interdisciplinary project, which combines chemists, physicists, biologists and clinicians. Candidates should have the ability to think creatively and combine an excellent command of the English language with strong communication skills. Highly motivated students are strongly encouraged to apply.

We offer a full-time, one year term position, with the possibility of renewal for an additional 3 years based on performance. Starting date will be asap.
You will be appointed in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities. The salary ranges from € 2.541,- to € 3.247,- gross per month, depending on experience (pay scale P).

Leiden University offers an attractive benefits package with additional holiday (8%) and end-of-year bonuses (8.3 %), training and career development. Our individual choices model gives you some freedom to assemble your own set of terms and conditions. For international spouses we have set up a dual career programme. Candidates from outside the Netherlands may be eligible for a substantial tax break. For more information, see the website.

All our PhD students are embedded in the Leiden University Graduate School of Science. Our graduate school offers several PhD training courses at three levels: professional courses, skills training and personal effectiveness. In addition, advanced courses to deepen scientific knowledge are offered by the research school.

Fostering an inclusive community is a central element of the values and vision of Leiden University. Leiden University is committed to becoming an inclusive community which enables all students and staff to feel valued and respected and to develop their full potential. Diversity in experiences and perspectives enriches our teaching and strengthens our research. High quality teaching and research is inclusive.

The Faculty of Science is a world-class faculty where staff and students work together in a dynamic international environment. It is a faculty where personal and academic development have top priorities. Our people are committed to expand fundamental knowledge by curiosity and to look beyond the borders of their own discipline; their aim is to benefit science, and to contribute to addressing the major societal challenges of the future.

The research carried out at the faculty is very diverse, ranging from mathematics, information science, astronomy, physics, to chemistry, bio-pharmaceutical sciences biology, and environmental sciences. The research activities are organized in eight institutes. These institutes offer eight bachelor’s and twelve master’s programs. The faculty has grown strongly in recent years and now has more than 2,384 staff and almost >5000 students. We are located at the heart of Leiden’s Bio Science Park, one of Europe’s biggest science parks, where university and business life come together.

We look forward to receiving your application with a CV as well as transcripts of marks for your degree(s) and the names and contact details of two academic referees to e-mail address: j.f.r.van.guyse@lacdr.leidenuniv.nl. Only applications received no later than September 30th, 2022 can be considered.


Informal enquiries can be also sent to Joachim Van Guyse,

e-mail j.f.r.van.guyse@lacdr.leidenuniv.nl.

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