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Postdoctoral researcher Peptide therapeutics

Postdoctoral researcher Peptide therapeutics

Are you interested in peptide synthesis and therapeutics? Are you looking for a challenging research project with potential for translation in biomedicine? Do you want to work independently as part of a multidisciplinary and international team?
(Post-doctoral) Researcher
Chemical Engineering and Chemistry
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Job description

Despite progress in infection treatment in the last decades, the prevalence and mortality of infections still poses a heavy burden over humankind. The development of antimicrobial resistance and the rapid mutagenesis of bacteria that leads to inefficiency of vaccines, play an important role in maintaining infections high level of threat. Even diseases that have plagued us for centuries, such as cholera, still challenge medical professionals and cause a significant social cost. New therapeutic approaches that promise a higher success rate are a pressing need. We recently discovered peptides which bind and block the RTX adhesin (FrhA) used by the bacteria of cholera to attach to and infect the human intestine, suggesting these peptides could help prevent cholera’s infection. By blocking FrhA, these peptides could also potentially detach already adhered bacteria, effectively removing cholera and curing the disease. Moreover, FrhA is similar to the RTX adhesin of most gram-negative bacteria, including those in the priority list of the WHO (E. coli, K. pneumoniae). In this project you will optimise the synthesis and characterisation of the discovered peptides, and in collaboration with our partners demonstrate blockage of cholera adhesion in an in vitro cellular model. You will also explore whether a similar strategy is applicable to other infectious diseases.

Job requirements

  • PhD in peptide science. Experience with peptide synthesis, peptide characterisation, peptide therapeutics, and protein crystallography; knowledge of fluorescence polarization spectroscopy (FP), isothermal calorimetry (ITC), and infectious diseases like cholera is preferred.
  • Ability to conduct high quality academic research, demonstrated by an outstanding PhD thesis and publications in peer-reviewed journals.
  • Strong motivation to do excellent, original, fundamental research with the potential for translation in biomedicine.
  • Excellent mastering of the English language, good communication and leadership skills. Note that there is no Dutch language requirement.
  • Independent and goal-oriented scientist. Team player and able to work in a dynamic, interdisciplinary, and international context.

Conditions of employment

  • A meaningful job in a dynamic and ambitious university with the possibility to present your work at international conferences.
  • A full-time employment for 1 year.
  • You will have free access to high-quality training programs for research, valorization and  professional development
  • A gross monthly salary and benefits in accordance with the Collective Labor Agreement for Dutch Universities.
  • A broad package of fringe benefits (including an excellent technical infrastructure, moving expenses, and savings schemes).
  • Family-friendly initiatives are in place, such as an international spouse program, and excellent on-campus children day care and sports facilities.

Information and application

For further information on this vacancy please contact
Prof. Dr. Ir. Ilja Voets, i.voets[at] or +31 40 247 5303

For information about terms of employment, please click here or contact Leo van Houten, l.v.houten[at] or +31 40 247 8269

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We invite you to submit a complete application by using the 'apply now'-button on this page. The application should include a:

  • Cover letter in which you describe your motivation and qualifications for the position.
  • Curriculum vitae, including a list of your publications and the contact information of three references.
  • A letter of recommendation from one or more of your references.

List of five self-selected ‘best publications’.

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We look forward to your application and will screen it as soon as we have received it. Screening will continue until the position has been filled.