PhD Student - Department of Organic and Macromolecular Chemistry

Updated: 2 months ago
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 30 Nov 2020

Last application date Nov 30, 2020 00:19

Department WE07 - Department of Organic and Macromolecular Chemistry

Employment category Doctoral fellow

Contract Limited duration

Degree MSc in a life sciences-related field (including (bio)chemistry, pharmaceutical sciences, bioscience engineering, biotechnology, …)

Occupancy rate 100%

Vacancy Type Research staff

Job description

Starting from January 2021, one fully-funded PhD position (4 years) is available at the Organic and Biomimetic Chemistry Research (OBCR) Group (Ghent University – Faculty of Sciences). The project supervisor is Prof. A. Madder but involves multiple collaborating groups within UGent and Vrije Universteit Brussel (VUB).

The BioGelator platform entails a novel class of rationally designed peptides that self-assemble into an injectable hydrogel depot for controlled release of therapeutic payloads. A joint scientific team within UGent & VUB is currently investigating this patented, proprietary technology to be employed in biomedical applications. Intravenous administration of biologics is burdened by insufficient penetration of the target tissue microenvironment and systemic immune-related adverse events. In many applications, formulation of these compounds in sustained release systems for local injection is a compelling alternative that has the potential to drastically enhance the bioavailability and safety of a given dose. The aim of this project will be the development, optimization and assessment of BioGelator formulations for local delivery of nucleic acid- and protein-based therapeutics. The candidate will initially design & synthesize lead BioGelator sequences for therapeutically relevant payloads., for which the primary focus will be on the desired loading efficiency, release kinetics and stability of the latter as assessed by in vitro models. In a secondary phase, lead formulations will be assessed for their PK/PD and therapeutic proof-of-concept in murine models.

Profile of the candidate


  • MSc in a life sciences-related field (including (bio)chemistry, pharmaceutical sciences, bioscience engineering, biotechnology, …)
  • A strong interest in peptide synthesis, biomaterials, drug delivery and protein/nucleic acid-based therapeutics
  • Ability to work with live animals, in particular mice
  • Ability to work independently on a multidisciplinary research project
  • Ability to work collaboratively & interculturally across different research groups and fields of expertise
  • Ability to write research manuscripts
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English Of added value
  • Experience in peptide synthesis
  • Experience in cell-culture handling and in vitro assays (ELISA, multiplex, cell viability, …)
  • Experience in flow cytometry
  • Experience in next generation sequencing (NGS) techniques
  • Possession of the FELASA certificate for working with laboratory animals
  • Experience with different types of mass spectrometry
  • Experience with HPLC analysis and purification
  • Experience in structure analysis with NMR

How to apply

For further information, please contact Prof. Annemieke Madder (email: ) with ‘PhD application BioGelator’ in the subject line. Applications should include a curriculum vitae, a one-page statement of research interests and contact details for three professional referees. Qualified applicants will be invited for an initial interview.

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