Universiteit Leiden

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PhD candidate in synthetic polymer chemistry

Omvang (fte)
Geplaatst op
23 januari 2024
28 februari 2024 Nog 1 dag om te solliciteren

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The Faculty of Science and the Leiden Academic Centre for Drug Research (LACDR) are looking for a:

PhD candidate in synthetic polymer chemistry

Vacancy number: 14484

Key responsibilities

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.

Selection criteria

  • A Master’s degree in Chemistry, Pharmaceutical sciences, or Biomedical sciences, or a related field;
  • Expertise in chemical synthesis, ideally in polymer synthesis and/or material science
  • Interest in formulation development; in vitro and in vivo assays, and biotherapeutic delivery
  • Strong communication skills in the group and with collaborators;
  • Proficiency in English;
  • Excellent organisational and planning skills (efficient time management).

Our organization
Working at the Faculty of Science means being part of an exciting, dynamic scientific environment which sets high standards for its students and staff. The research carried out at the Faculty of Science is diverse, ranging from computer science, mathematics, astronomy, physics, chemistry and bio-pharmaceutical sciences to biology and environmental sciences.

The faculty has grown strongly in recent years and now has more than 2,300 staff and over 5,000 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. For more information, see https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/en/science.

Terms and conditions
We offer a full-time appointment of initially one year. After a positive evaluation of the progress of the research, teaching evaluations, personal capabilities and compatibility, the appointment will be extended for another three years. You will be appointed in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities. The salary ranges from € 2.770,- per month in the first year to € 3.539,- gross per month in the fourth year based on a full-time position (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 program. Candidates from outside the Netherlands may be eligible for a substantial tax break. For more information, see the website: https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/en/working-at/job-application-procedure-and-employment-conditions.

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.

Diversity and work-life balance
Leiden University is strongly committed to diversity within its community and especially welcomes applications from members of underrepresented groups. LACDR is a highly diverse institute, in culture, background, and gender. We stand for excellence in a caring Institute. We wish to reflect society in all aspects, as we believe that this improves the dynamics in our organization. Therefore, we support and understand the need for a work/life/family balance and consequent varying working hours and places. We believe that doing good science is fun, and goes hand in hand with a friendly culture.

Enquiries can be made to Joachim Van Guyse (j.f.r.van.guyse@lacdr.leidenuniv.nl). If you have any questions about the procedure, please contact Joachim Van Guyse (j.f.r.van.guyse@lacdr.leidenuniv.nl).

To apply for this vacancy, please submit your application online via the blue button below. Please ensure that you upload the following additional documents quoting the vacancy number:

  • Cover letter
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Research Interests Statement (max an A4 page)
  • Transcripts of bachelor and master curriculum courses, including grades

Only applications received before February 28th, 2024 can be considered.

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