Postdoc positions (4) in SERS-based Detection, Microfluidics, Raman Instrumentation and Software Development for Therapeutic Drug Monitoring

Updated: 22 days ago

We are looking for four postdoctoral researchers to be part of a dynamic team, working on the development of Therapeutic Drug Monitoring (TDM) solutions using Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS) based sensing.

The project is part of the BioInnovation Institute (BII) Faculty program, which is a collaboration between BII and DTU and is aimed to create a unique interdisciplinary environment focused on commercialization that can foster novel ideas and lead to new spin-outs.

Our vision is to develop a portable Raman system, which can be used at patient bed side or in centralized labs that enables TDM from body fluids in a matter of minutes, using SERS-based sensing. The aim is to commercialize the developed SERS-based tool for TDM and launch a start-up company. The postdoctoral researchers will have an opportunity to be a part of the start-up team, which will be finalized at the end of the three-year project.

The project is placed at BII, which will be the primary workplace of the postdoctoral researcher, however he or she will have a strong integration with the IDUN research group, led by Prof. Anja Boisen at DTU Department of Health Technology. IDUN is a large research group with over 40 members, with focus on development of micro and nanosensor sensors, detection systems and drug delivery approaches. In IDUN we have strong competences in Raman spectroscopy, both theory and instrumentation, and several years of experience in the development of high-performance SERS substrates and assays for detection of target analytes in complex matrices (e.g. biological fluids and food samples).

Research field
The postdoctoral researchers will work in the area of Raman spectroscopy, electrochemistry and microfluidics. Raman spectroscopy, is a well-known spectroscopy technique for identifying various molecular species. SERS, on the other hand, is a powerful experimental technique that utilizes plasmonic nanostructures to enhance otherwise very weak Raman scattering signals. This tremendous amplification of the Raman scattering signal enables detection of trace amounts of target molecules. Additionally, when combined with electrochemistry the SERS signal can be further enhanced.

The postdoctoral researchers will work in an interdisciplinary team that employs SERS for detection and quantification of drugs in body fluids (e.g. human blood plasma) where sample pre-treatment is key. Specifically the candidate will focus on (i) development of SERS-based assay and sample pretreatment approaches; (ii) adaptation and integration of the assay protocol in microfluidic and (iii) instrument and software development.

(1) Postdoc in Quantitative Electrochemically assisted SERS-based Detection (starting date 1 June 2021 or according to mutual agreement)
Your task in the interdisciplinary research team will be the development of SERS-based sensing method combined with electrochemistry. Your main responsibility will be the development and optimization of protocols for quantification of therapeutic drugs.

You will have a key role in keeping contact and work in close collaboration with the fabrication specialist and physicists to develop suitable SERS substrate for the electrochemically assisted SERS-based detection. Additionally, you will interact with pharmacist, analytical chemists, data scientist for defining the drug candidates, validate the developed assay and optimize sample pre-treatment processes.

Qualifications

  • A PhD degree or equivalent in the field of electrochemistry, analytical chemistry or engineering.
  • Experience (at least 4 years) in development of electrochemical assays and sensors.
  • Highly preferred: experience in clean-room fabrication processes (e.g. electrode fabrication).
  • Experience with quantitative SERS-based detection and microfluidics is a plus.
  • Experience working in multidisciplinary teams, self-motivation, responsible conduct of experimental work and good organizational skills are a must.
  • Previous experience in research and development after PhD is an additional plus.

(2) Postdoc in Quantitative SERS-based Detection of Drugs from Biological Fluids (starting date 1 October 2021 or according to mutual agreement)
Your main responsibility in our research team will be the development and validation of SERS-based assays and quantification of therapeutic drugs in biological fluids (e.g.blood saliva, urine). You will work in close collaboration with the fabrication specialist on the optimization and quality control of the SERS substrates. You will have a key role in the optimization of sample pre-treatment processes for the biological fluids, primarily blood and in the development of quantitative SERS-based assays. You will also collaborate with engineers developing Raman detection systems and other team members, electrochemists, data scientists, physicists, microfluidic engineer working on various aspects of assay development. Additionally you will interact with collaborators at the hospital who will provide real patient samples and will be involved in the validation process.

Qualifications

  • A PhD degree or equivalent in the field of analytical chemistry, engineering.
  • Experience in working with quantitative SERS-based detection and data analysis.
  • Highly preferred: experience in fabrication processes (e.g. micromilling, laser ablation, injection moulding).
  • Experience in the development of sample pre-treatment (e.g. extraction, purification) methods.
  • Experience working in multidisciplinary teams, self-motivation, responsible conduct of experimental work and good organizational skills are a must. 
  • Previous work experience in collaborative project with hospitals and interdisciplinary environment is a plus.

(3) Postdoc in Integration of SERS-based Assays in Microfluidics (starting date 1 November 2021 or according to mutual agreement)
Your task in the research team will be the adaptation of the developed sample pre-treatment steps and SERS-based detection methods in microfluidics. Your will work in close collaboration with the analytical chemists, assay specialists to develop approaches that can be integrated and automated in fluidic systems. You will also collaborate with engineers working on the optimization of a portable Raman detection system to ensure compatibility with the microfluidic device. Additionally, you will keep close contact with fabrication specialist when optimizing the integration of the SERS substrate in the microfluidic cartridge. 

Qualifications

  • A PhD degree or equivalent in the field of engineering.
  • Experience (at least 5 years) in the development of microfluidic platforms for analytical chemistry and life science.
  • Highly preferred: experience in fabrication processes (e.g. micromilling, laser ablation, injection moulding). 
  • Experience with adaptation of SERS-based assay in microfluidic and centrifugal microfluidics is a plus.
  • Experience working in multidisciplinary teams, ability to coordinate and supervise student projects, self-motivation, responsible conduct of experimental work and good organizational skills are a must. 
  • Previous work experience in research and development in an interdisciplinary and international environment after PhD is an additional plus.

(4) Postdoc in Development of Tabletop Raman Detection System and Data Analysis Software (starting date 1 November 2021 or according to mutual agreement)
Your main task will be the development of the portable Raman system carried out in close collaboration with the analytical chemists, physicists, electrochemist and microfluidic engineer. You will be also responsible for the development of SERS data analysis software and user interface. Additionally you will work closely with the team members during the optimization and validation of the prototype and software.

Qualifications

  • A PhD degree or equivalent in the field of electronic, optical or mechanical engineering.
  • Experience in working with the development of optical detection systems.
  • Highly preferred: previous experience in the development of Raman systems and experience programing in Delphi and/or C++.
  • Experience in software and hardware integration.
  • Experience in working with SERS-based molecular detection is a plus.
  • Experience working with analytical systems/sensor and electrochemical detection systems (e.g. potentiostat) is a plus.
  • Good collaborative and communication skills, self-motivation and strong organizational skills are a must.
  • Previous work experience in industry or academia is an additional plus.

Applicable for all positions

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 from the starting date until the 30 June 2023.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here . 

Further information
Further information may be obtained from Head of Section Professor Anja Boisen, aboi@dtu.dk , tel.: +45 4525 5727, Senior Researcher Kinga Zor, kinzo@dtu.dk , tel.: +45 4525 5751 or Associate Professor Tomas Rindzevicius, trin@dtu.dk , tel: +45 4525 5733. 

You can read more about DTU Health Tech at www.healthtech.dtu.dk/english . 

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 28 May 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) -– please indicate which position you are applying for
  • CV
  • Diploma (MSc/PhD)
  • List of publications

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

DTU Health Tech
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 12,900 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.


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