PhD in Immune Receptor Immunoinformatics

DTU Health Tech

The Section of Bioinformatics, DTU Health Tech is world leading within Immunoinformatics and Machine-Learning. Currently, we are seeking a highly talented and motivated PhD student within the field of Immune receptor Immunoinformatics.

Identification of T and B cell epitopes plays a major role in several biotechnological and clinical tasks and is central to our understanding of the immune system. T cells scrutinize the surface of cells for foreign peptides presented in complex with MHC (Major histocompatibility complex) molecules. MHC merely presents a minor proportion of the peptides produced within a cell on the cell surface, and only a minor proportion of these (termed epitopes) are recognized by T cells. Likewise, antibodies (or B cell receptors) recognize their molecular targets, termed antigens, in a highly specific manner via interactions between their binding site (paratope) and a specific region of the antigen (the epitope). Identifying the rules underlying the properties of these epitopes and their interaction with the target immune receptors is thus at the foundation for our basic understanding of adaptive immunity. 

As part of the IEDB initiative, this PhD position will focus on the immune-receptor arm of this problem, and use cutting edge machine learning and data mining techniques to develop models for prediction of TCR/BCR interaction with their cognate epitope targets, methods to perform functional clustering of BCR/TCR repertoires, and from this gain novel insights to advance our understanding of the rules defining T and B cell immunogenicity.

If you are looking for the best possible foundation for establishing your scientific carrier and fulfilling your dreams and ambitions, this position could be your opportunity.

Responsibilities and qualifications
The project will be conducted in the inspiring environment at the Section of Bioinformatics at DTU Health Tech as part of the IML research group led by Professor Morten Nielsen in close collaboration with the IEDB leader team at La Jolla Institute for Immunology (LJI), San Diego, California.

You must have a two-year master's degree (120 ECTS points) or a similar degree in one of the following areas: Bioinformatics, Biology, Engineering, Computer science or related fields, and have experience doing research within Bioinformatics.

The successful candidate must moreover exhibit the following professional and personal qualifications:

  • Strong background within machine learning, and immuninformatics is a requirement
  • Knowledge of the basic concepts of the cellular immune system is a plus
  • Capability of taking personal responsibility for your work and your results
  • Flexibility and a general positive attitude to changes
  • Motivation by both individual and team accomplishments
  • Strong communication skills in both written and verbal English

Approval and Enrolment
The scholarship for the PhD degree is subject to academic approval, and the candidate will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes at DTU. For information about our enrolment requirements and the general planning of the PhD study programme, please see the DTU PhD Guide.

We offer
DTU is a leading technical university globally recognized for the excellence of its research, education, innovation and scientific advice. We offer a rewarding and challenging job in an international environment. We strive for academic excellence in an environment characterized by collegial respect and academic freedom tempered by responsibility.

Salary and terms of employment
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 with a starting date of 1 September 2022 or as soon as possible hereafter.  

You can read more about career paths at DTU here.  

Further information
Further information may be obtained from Morten Nielsen, and at Immunoinformatics and Machine Learning (IML).

You can read more about DTU Health Tech at

If you are applying from abroad, you may find useful information on working in Denmark and at DTU at DTU – Moving to Denmark. Furthermore, you have the option of joining our monthly free seminar “PhD relocation to Denmark and startup “Zoom” seminar” for all questions regarding the practical matters of moving to Denmark and working as a PhD at DTU.

Application procedure
Your complete online application must be submitted no later than 14 August 2022 (Danish 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 out 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 (in English) including official description of grading scale

You may apply prior to ob­tai­ning your master's degree but cannot begin before having received it.

Applications received after the deadline will not be considered.

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.

Section of Bioinformatics
The section of Bioinformatics within DTU Health Tech has its main research and teaching activities in bio-medical and bio-technological informatics, metagenomics, epidemiology, integrative systems biology and machine learning. The research at DTU Bioinformatics is focused on bioinformatics and computational analyses of large amounts of data generated within biological, biomedical and biotechnological and life sciences area. We strive to gain new knowledge and drive innovation in human, animal, plant and food science and collaborate with all relevant industries. A cornerstone in achieving this is the dedicated effort within DTU Bioinformatics to develop bioinformatics, immuno-informatics, metagenomics and systems biology methods and solutions to the challenge of handling and interpreting large scale and heterogeneous big data. We run projects combining big data and laboratory research via the national supercomputing center (Computerome) and molecular genomics laboratories.

DTU Health Tech engages in research, education, and innovation base on technical and natural science for the healthcare sector. The Healthcare sector is a globally expanding market with demands for the most advanced technological solutions. DTU Health Tech creates the foundation for companies to develop new and innovative services and products which benefit people and create value for society. DTU Health Techs expertise spans from imaging and biosensor techniques, across digital health and biological modelling, to biopharma technologies. The department has a scientific staff of about 210 persons, 130 PhD students and a technical/administrative support staff of about 160 persons, of which a large majority contributes to our research infrastructure and related commercial activities.   

Technology for people
DTU develops technology for people. With our international elite research and study programmes, we are helping to create a better world and to solve the global challenges formulated in the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Hans Christian Ørsted founded DTU in 1829 with a clear vision to develop and create value using science and engineering to benefit society. That vision lives on today. DTU has 13,400 students and 5,800 employees. We work in an international atmosphere and have an inclusive, evolving, and informal working environment. DTU has campuses in all parts of Denmark and in Greenland, and we collaborate with the best universities around the world.