Development of fluorescent nanoparticles with antibody conjugation for diagnosis

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  • University/Institute Name University of Copenhagen
  • University/Institute Name Department of Chemistry
  • Position Funding Type Fully funded (e.g. RA, TA, Scholarship, etc.)
  • Position Duration3 years
  • Attendance Type On Campus
  • Application deadlineExpired

Position Details (PhD)

Center for Medicinal Chemistry, University of Copenhagen offers six three-year PhD fellowships in medicinal chemistry commencing 1 March 2023 or as soon as possible thereafter. Three of the PhD fellowships are announced at the Faculty of Health and Medicinal Sciences and three are announced at the Faculty of Science, Department of Chemistry. This call is for one of the positions at Department of Chemistry.

The Center for Medicinal Chemistry brings together scientists at UCPH in a dynamic, collaborative-oriented, integrated research and educational environment across the Faculty of Science, the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, other academic institutions as well as the biotech and pharmaceutical industry.

The Center promotes a working culture where the exploration of conceptual ideas goes hand-in-hand with innovation and attention to circularity and sustainability. In an international landscape, the Center pioneers new strategies and search for solutions to urgent medicinal chemistry challenges in society, and address fundamental questions with long-term perspectives. The Center works to strengthen the Medicon Valley region in an international setting.

PhD project: Fluorescent Nanoparticles with Antibody Conjugation for Diagnosis
The aim in this PhD project is to develop ultra-bright fluorescent nanoparticles with antibody conjugation for diagnostic applications. The project is based on newly developed ultra-bright organic dye based “SMILES” nanoparticles (Chen et al, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2021, 60, 9450 –9458). The key objectives are: 1) To develop and optimize new SMILES nanoparticles with different emission colors across the whole visible spectral region. 2) To investigate size, stability, and interactions in biological environments. 3) To develop chemical surface modification of the nanoparticles that enables formation of conjugates with antibodies. 4) Use of these ultra-bright nanoparticle antibody conjugates for flow cytometry based diagnosis.

Supervisors: Professor Bo W. Laursen, Department of Chemistry and Associate Professor Elisabeth Rexen Ulven, Department of Drug Design and Pharmacology

1 March 2023, or soon thereafter

What is the offer?

he project will mainly be carried out in the group of Professor Bo W. Laursen where we focus on design, synthesis, spectroscopy, and applications of fluorescent dyes and dye based materials. In the group we are a mix of organic synthetic chemists and spectroscopists and we collaborate with a wide range of groups using our fluorescent dyes and nanoparticles. In this project you will also do work in the group of Elisabeth Rexen Ulven focusing on bio-conjugation chemistry, and with our industrial partners at Agilent Technologies that are leading in both instruments and reagents for clinical flow cytometry.

We offer a challenging and innovative project combining fundamental research with high impact applications within fluorescence and flow cytometry based diagnosis, conducted in a creative and dynamic international research environment.

Information about the Department can be found at

Job description
Your key tasks as a PhD student at the Department of Chemistry are:

  • Carrying through an independent research project under supervision
  • Completing PhD courses or other equivalent education corresponding to approximately 30 ECTS points
  • Participating in active research environments, including taking active part in research- and educational organizational initiatives under Center for Medicinal Chemistry
  • A stay at another research environment
  • Obtaining experience with teaching or other types of dissemination related to your PhD project
  • Teaching of undergraduate students in pharmaceutical sciences
  • Writing a PhD thesis on the grounds of your project

Key criteria for the assessment of applicants
Applicants should hold an MSc degree in chemistry or related subject with good results and excellent English skills. Experience relevant to the project topic and methods will be taken into account when selecting candidates. Relevant experience includes: organic synthesis, fluorescent dyes, bio-conjugation, fluorescence spectroscopy, DLS, organic nanoparticles, flow cytometry. Please note that your master’s degree must be equivalent to a Danish master’s degree (180 ECTS/3 FTE BSc + 120 ECTS/2 FTE MSc) For information of eligibility of completed programmes, see General assessments for specific countries and Assessment database

Other important criteria are:

  • Professional qualifications relevant to the PhD project
  • Relevant work experience
  • Previous publications
  • The grade point average achieved
  • Other professional activities
  • A curious mind-set with a strong interest in organic synthesis and medicinal chemistry
  • Language skills

Place of employment
The place of employment is at the Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, University of Copenhagen. We offer creative and stimulating working conditions in dynamic and international research environment. Our research facilities include modern laboratories and research infrastructure.

Terms of employment
The average weekly working hours are 37 hours per week.

The position is a fixed-term position limited to a period of 3 years

Employment is conditional upon your successful enrolment as a PhD Fellow at the PhD School at the Faculty of SCIENCE, University of Copenhagen. This requires submission and acceptance of an application for the specific project formulated by the applicant.

Terms of appointment and payment accord to the agreement between the Danish Ministry of Taxation and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State. The position is covered by the Protocol on Job Structure.

The PhD fellowship is financed by the Center for Medicinal Chemistry, the Lundbeck Foundation, and Agilent Technologies Denmark.

Application procedure
Your application, in English, must be submitted electronically by clicking “Apply now” below and must include the following documents in PDF format:

1. Motivated letter of application (max. one page)

2. CV incl. education, experience, language skills and other skills relevant for the position

3. Certified copy of original Master of Science diploma and transcript of records in the original language, including an authorized English translation if issued in other language than English or Danish. If not completed, a certified/signed copy of a recent transcript of records or a written statement from the institution or supervisor is accepted. As a prerequisite for a PhD fellowship employment, your master’s degree must be equivalent to a Danish master’s degree. We encourage you to read more in the assessment database: Please note that we might ask you to obtain an assessment of your education performed by the Ministry of Higher Education and Science. Applicants with a Master´s degree from abroad should also enclose a short description of the grading scale used

4. Publication list (if possible)

5. Other information to consider: References and recommendations (if possible)

The deadline for applications is Sunday 1 January 2023, 23.59pm GMT+1

We reserve the right not to consider material received after the deadline, and not to consider applications that do not live up to the abovementioned requirements.

The further process
After the expiry of the deadline for applications, the authorised recruitment manager selects applicants for assessment on the advice of the hiring committee. All applicants are then immediately notified whether their application has been passed for assessment by an unbiased assessor.

The assessor makes a non-prioritized assessment of the academic qualifications and experience with respect to the above-mentioned area of research, techniques, skills and other requirements listed in the advertisement.

Once the assessment work has been completed each applicant has the opportunity to comment on the part of the assessment that relates to the applicant him/herself.

The applicant will be assessed according to the Ministerial Order no. 242 of 13 March 2012 on the Appointment of Academic Staff at Universities.

Interviews are expected to be held late January 2023

You can read about the recruitment process at

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Position Start Date

March 1, 2023