PhD students in Advanced Antibody Discovery Technologies

Monday 23 Sep 19

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Apply no later than 30 October 2019
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We are looking for 2 PhD students for two 3-year position within the field of antibody technologies from the 1st of January 2020 (or soon thereafter). The positions will involve laboratory work, collaboration with international partners in Costa Rica, Brazil, UK, and Australia, and contribution to group management and research strategy.

The Tropical Pharmacology Lab

Snakebite envenoming is a Neglected Tropical Disease that each year claims 150,000 lives and maims another 400,000 victims for life. Existing treatments based on polyclonal antibodies derived from the blood of immunized animals are scarce and have a number of drawbacks, including high cost a propensity to elicit adverse reactions due to their immunogenic disposition. Scientific and technological advancement is highly warranted and may enable the introduction of improved therapies for snakebite victims living in impoverished rural areas worldwide!


In the Tropical Pharmacology Lab, we are championing the development of recombinant antivenoms based on mixtures of carefully selected human monoclonal antibodies with the purpose of bringing efficacious, safe, and affordable next-generation snakebite therapeutics to life. To pursue this goal, we utilize advanced antibody discovery technologies for designing antibodies with special binding properties, such as being broadly-neutralizing, being directed to distinct anatomic sites, and/or being possible to administer at exceptionally low dose.


The research group, the Tropical Pharmacology Lab is headed by Associate Professor Andreas Hougaard Laustsen and is based in the section for Protein Science & Biotherapeutics at the Department of Biotechnology and Biomedicine. In our group, we are a group of high performing younger scientists that share the vision that science is supposed to benefit humankind, especially underprivileged societies and/or societal groups. This shared vision with a very international outreach has created an academic environment that is ambitious and innovative fueled by an exceptionally collegially supportive attitude to both people and their work. We welcome people with all types of backgrounds and strive for diversity. Our research group is highly active in numerous outreach activities and our international travel agendas are typically busy. Finally, group members typically have an entrepreneurial attitude, resulting in the establishment of a number of spin-out biotech companies by group members.


Responsibilities and tasks

The project is funded by the European Research Council and will be focused on developing human monoclonal antibodies with special binding properties for effective toxin neutralization. The role of the candidates will primarily be to perform experiments in the laboratory, data analysis, and scientific publication, as well as take 30 ECTS points of relevant PhD courses as required in Danish PhD programs.


At the Tropical Pharmacology Lab, we have an exceptionally collaborative spirit and host many talented students and guest researchers from abroad. Therefore, the candidates should preferably enjoy collaborating and supervising younger scientists that may be recruited to support the project, as well as collaborating with our many international collaborators from countries such as Costa Rica, the United Kingdom, Brazil, and Australia. This may involve an opportunity for the candidates to spend time in some of the labs of our overseas collaborators, as both candidates are expected to have secondments for at about 6 months at one of our collaborating labs.


The candidates should preferably have an entrepreneurial spirit and be interested in facilitating the transition of scientific discoveries into inventions and innovations that can be brought to life in society – possibly via the establishment of spin-off companies from the research group.


Finally, depending on the interests of the candidates, the position may involve outreach activities, such as publication of popular science articles and/or popular science presentations at larger public events.


Applicants should hold a 2-year M.Sc. degree (120 ECTS) in a relevant life sciences discipline, have excellent communication skills in English, and be trained in either antibody discovery techniques, protein biochemistry, protein engineering, and molecular/synthetic biology. In our research groups, we highly value collaboration, and it will be expected that the candidate can demonstrate that he/she has a track record for successfully collaborating with his/her peers.


It is beneficial (but not mandatory) if the applicant has experience with one or more of the following techniques:

  • Phage display technology
  • Surface Plasmon Resonance
  • High-density peptide microarray design and analysis
  • Mammalian cell cultivation
  • Isothermal Titration Calorimetry
  • Toxin isolation and purification
  • Recombinant protein expression and purification
  • Protein crystallography
  • Bioinformatics
  • Molecular biology (PCR, cloning)
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 programs at DTU. For information about our enrolment requirements and the general planning of the PhD study program, 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.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here.

The positions will be located at the DTU Lyngby campus in a newly established research building hosting ultra-modern laboratories for antibody discovery and phage display technology with neighboring laboratories with state-of-the-art facilities for protein science and proteomics. 

The positions are for 3 years.
Further Information

Additional information may be obtained from Assoc. Prof. Andreas Hougard Laustsen,

Application procedure

Please submit your online application no later than 30 October 2019.


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:

  • Application (cover letter)
  • CV
  • Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma
  • Excel sheet with translation of grades to the Danish grading system (see guidelines and Excel spreadsheet here)
  • List of publications
  • Names and contact details of 2 academic referees

Applications and enclosures received after the deadline will not be considered.


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


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 university collaborating globally with business, industry, government and public agencies.