Leiden Institute of Chemistry
To address biological questions related to human health, chemical tools are essential. Covalent or non-covalent interactions of compounds with biomolecules offer a range of possibilities for study. They can be used to identify enzymes based on their activity, to influence cellular regulation, by changing interactions or stimulating protein breakdown, or to label macromolecules for tracing in cells. These tools help to unravel biochemical processes and identify targets for drug discovery.
Furthermore, chemical modification of biological therapeutics can be employed to enhance their properties and endow them with new functionalities (i.e. LyTACs and nanobody-based PROTACs). Research in this area requires a combination of organic chemistry to develop bio-orthogonal methods, AI-assisted protein design, biochemistry for the production of macromolecules (e.g. proteins with non-natural amino acids) and cell biology/immunology/neurobiology for the application of these tools.
The Leiden Institute of Chemistry (LIC) aims to hire a talented researcher in chemical biology with an interest in the bio-orthogonal modification of biomolecules. The researcher is expected to develop an independent research line and to integrate in the local, national and international research landscape. A collaborative mind-set is important to work closely with the chemists and chemical biology researchers within the LIC, and also with scientists from the Leiden Academic Centre for Drug Research (LACDR), the Leiden Institute of Biology (IBL) and the Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC). See for example the Leiden Early Drug Discovery and Development (LED3) hub.
The Leiden Institute of Chemistry is located in a brand new building and has all the facilities required for modern organic synthetic chemistry, biochemistry and cell biology, with advanced facilities for protein production, light and electron microscopy, mass spectrometry and magnetic resonance spectroscopy.
The LIC is responsible for the bachelor programmes “Molecular Science & Technology” and “Life Science & Technology” (jointly with the Delft University of Technology), and for the master programmes “Chemistry” and “Life Science & Technology”. The candidate is expected to develop and teach (advanced) courses in organic chemistry, biochemistry, and/or cell biology.