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Postdoctoral Researcher: Robotics and Automation for High Throughput Metabolomics (1.0 FTE

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Omvang (fte)
Geplaatst op
11 mei 2023
14 juni 2023 Nog 10 dagen om te solliciteren

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The Faculty of Science, Leiden Academic Centre for Drug Research (LACDR) is looking for a

Postdoctoral Researcher: Robotics and Automation for High Throughput Metabolomics (1.0 FTE)

Job description

The Metabolomics and Analytics Center (MAC) seeks to hire a Postdoctoral Researcher for Robotics & Automation. This position will contribute to projects in our group at the interface of metabolomics and technology development. Your work is a part of the Exposome-Scan project, where researchers from various Dutch institutes and medical centres will build a unique and large-scale open facility for research into the so-called exposome.

To realize the potential of metabolomics for disease prediction, prediction of treatment outcome and precision medicine, large-scale data acquisition is needed with sample sizes typically in the order of tens to hundreds of thousands. The analytical challenge posed by high-throughput metabolomics drives technological developments into the direction of more exhaustive analysis using smaller samples and shorter analysis times at a lower cost-per-sample. You will work towards setting up and managing a high-throughput, fully automated modular metabolomics workflow including sample preparation, sample delivery, and data acquisition. You will co-develop novel miniaturized sample-preparation modules (e.g., hanging-droplet evaporation of solvent, electro-extraction to enrich metabolites, segmented flow for HT workflows).

Key responsibilities

In your project, you will focus on two aspects: i) developing novel miniaturized sample-preparation modules based integrated into robotic autosamplers to bring throughput and efficiency of metabolomics workflows to the next level and ii) management and supervision of automated workcell for high-throughput mass-spec based metabolomics.

You will collaborate with the Fine Mechanical Department and Electronics Department to design and build the modules, further developing modules invented in Leiden (e.g. hanging-droplet evaporation, electro extraction, segmented-slug flow). You will be designing and programming the software interfaces between the modules, robots, and analytical equipment. You will work in close collaboration with PhD students, technicians, and experts in metabolomics, mass spectrometry, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, omics data integration within the LACDR.

Selection criteria

  • PhD in Biomedical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, or Robotics, preferably with experience in Analytical Chemistry.  
  • Interest in the field of metabolomics, programming, and microfluidics is desired.  
  • Proficient in programming (e.g. Python, R). 
  • Good to excellent proficiency in English is required.  

Our organization

The Faculty of Science is a world-class faculty where staff and students work together in a dynamic international environment. The LACDR is an international leading drug research institute. The Metabolomics & Analytics Centre (MAC) has been a pioneer in Metabolomics since early 2000, and combines advanced metabolomics technologies, innovative sample preparation and robotics, and computational and FAIR digital twinning expertise’s. MAC is involved in many academic and industrial collaborations.   

Terms and conditions

We offer a full-time position for initially one year. After positive evaluation of the progress of the research, personal  and compatibility the appointment can be extended further for one or three years. The salary ranges, depending on qualifications and experience, from € 2.960,- to € 4.670,- gross per month (pay scale 10 in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities), plus an attractive benefits package with additional holiday (8%) and end-of-year bonuses (8.3 %), training and career development.



Diversity and inclusion are core values 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.


Enquiries can be made to Prof. dr. Thomas Hankemeier, e-mail: hankemeier@lacdr.leidenuniv.nl

If you have any questions about the procedure, please contact Mrs. Ina Hazejager (e-mail:

abs@lacdr.leidenuniv.nl, telephone: +31 71 527 4220).

Instructions for applications

To apply for this vacancy, please send an email to Prof. dr. Thomas Hankemeier; abs@lacdr.leidenuniv.nl. Please ensure that you upload the following additional documents quoting the vacancy number:

- letter of motivation;

- curriculum vitae;

Only applications received before 14 June 2023 can be considered.

Acquisition following this advertisement is not appreciated.

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