PhD scholarship in Assembly and characterization of minimal red blood cells towards the creation of universal blood substitutes

DTU Nanotech
onsdag 04 jul 18

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Frist 6. august 2018
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DTU Nanotech (Department of Micro- and Nanotechnology), is an international research and education nanoscience department based at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU). DTU Nanotech undertakes interdisciplinary research involving scientists from relevant areas in physics, chemistry, molecular biology and engineering. 
The Biomimetics, Biocarriers and Bioimplants Group (The 3Bs) is a highly interdisciplinary and positive group with open-minded and supportive members. The 3Bs’ research areas are focused on drug delivery, tissue engineering and cell mimicry.
The 3Bs group at DTU Nanotech is searching for a highly motivated PhD student with high ambitions and a commitment to a very productive environment. The 3Bs group comprises the fields of chemistry, materials science and cell biology.
Blood is crucial for our survival and the only way to substitute for blood loss occurring during accidents or surgery is by using blood from donors. However, blood transfusions have some limitations and risks: before blood can be transfused, there is a need for typing and matching due to the different blood groups, causing fatal delays in emergency situations. Also, blood has a short storage lifetime, which makes it impossible to create large blood supplies to be used in acute disasters such as earthquakes or plane accidents. Furthermore, blood transfusions run the risk of spreading new viral infections, which happened with HIV in the 1980s. Thus, developing a new oxygen-carrier solution for use when red blood cells are neither an option nor available persists as one of the foremost important challenges in biomedicine.
Responsibilities and tasks
You will work in a highly interdisciplinary project in the interface of polymer chemistry and materials science, together with molecular and cell biology. The research project will focus on the fabrication of a new class of microcarriers with potential to serve as Red Blood Cells Substitutes (RBCS).

In particular, the PhD research project involves the assembly of polymeric microcarriers encapsulating the essential components for the creation of minimal red blood cells to be used in blood transfusion medicine, as well as their in vitro characterization with model cell lines. 
The job also involves co-supervision of bachelor and master students.
You can read previous related research by the project supervisor here:

The successful applicant should hold a master’s degree (or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to master’s degree) in Chemistry, Pharmacy, Materials Science or related disciplines such as Biomedical Engineering or Bioengineering, with a strong background in polymer chemistry and cell and molecular biology. Experience in the drug delivery field will be considered as an advantage.

We expect that you have:

  • Self-driven and independent prior research productivity
  • Excellent collaboration and communication skills
  • An interest in working in an interdisciplinary research environment
  • A strong motivation to succeed within a competitive research field
  • Excellent spoken and written English
  • Flexibility and ability to work in a team environment 
Approval and Enrolment
The scholarship for the PhD degree is subject to academic approval, and the candidates will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes of DTU. For information about the general requirements for enrolment and the general planning of the scholarship studies, please see the DTU PhD Guide.
The assessment of the applicants will be made by Associate Professor Leticia Hosta-Rigau.

We offer
We offer an interesting and challenging job in an international environment focusing on education, research, scientific advice and innovation, which contribute to enhancing the economy and improving social welfare. We strive for academic excellence, collegial respect and freedom tempered by responsibility. The Technical University of Denmark (DTU) is a leading technical university in northern Europe and benchmarks with the best universities in the world.
Salary and appointment terms
The appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed upon with the relevant union. The period of employment is 3 years.

The start date is as soon as possible.
Your main workplace will be at DTU Lyngby Campus.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here.
Further information
Further information may be obtained from Associate Professor Leticia Hosta-Rigau,
You can read more about DTU Nanotech at and about The Biomimetics, Biocarriers and Bioimplants Group (The 3Bs) at
Please submit your online application no later than 6 August 2018 (local time).

Applications must be submitted as one PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply online," fill in the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one PDF file. The file must include:
  • A letter motivating the application (cover letter)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma
  • Excel sheet with translation of grades to the Danish grading system (see guidelines and Excel spreadsheet here)  
Candidates may apply prior to obtaining their master's degree, but cannot begin before having received it.
All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.
DTU Nanotech - the Department of Micro- and Nanotechnology - is situated in the northern part of Copenhagen. DTU Nanotech is a centre of excellence in micro- and nanotechnology utilising sciences across the traditional boundaries of technology, thereby enabling innovative solutions for the benefit of society. DTU Nanotech has approximately 270 staff members. With 40 % international employees, the department constitutes an international environment.

DTU is a technical university providing internationally leading research, education, innovation and scientific advice. Our staff of 6,000 advance science and technology to create innovative solutions that meet the demands of society, and our 11,200 students are being educated to address the technological challenges of the future. DTU is an independent academic university collaborating globally with business, industry, government and public agencies.