Senior Researcher / Associate Professor in Antibody Technologies for Antivenom Development

fredag 30 okt 20

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Frist 30. november 2020
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We are looking for an experienced Senior Researcher and/or Associate Professor within the field of antibody technologies from the 1st of January 2021 (or soon thereafter). The position is for 5 years.

The candidate will lead a team of 6 scientists and laboratory technicians and be in charge of an extraordinarily ambitious antibody development project with the aim of developing a fully recombinant antivenom against snakebite for sub-Saharan Africa.

Bringing antivenom into the modern era of biologics
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 and 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 and/or being possible to administer at exceptionally low dose. In this project, these technologies will be used to deliver the first recombinant antivenom to snakebite victims in sub-Saharan Africa, which has the potential to significantly impact human health in this region.

The research group 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 at the Technical University of Denmark.

Responsibilities and tasks
The project is funded by Wellcome and has the aim of delivering tangible human health impact via the development of novel snakebite therapeutics. The role of the candidate will be to lead a team of 4 postdoctoral scientists and 2 laboratory technicians working on toxin biochemistry, antibody and nanobody discovery, and biophysical characterization of antibodies with the purpose of developing a recombinant oligoclonal antibody cocktail that can neutralize the venoms of the medically most important snakes of sub-Saharan Africa. The project will thus be highly collaborative, and it is important that activities are orchestrated within the project group, as well as in the Tropical Pharmacology Lab, by the candidate in coordination with the PI Andreas Hougaard Laustsen.

The position is expected to involve approximately 50% lab work and 50% project management activities. The position is also expected to involve co-supervision of PhD and M.Sc. students within the research topic, but is not expected to involve any significant teaching responsibilities for the first 5 years.

Qualifications
Applicants should hold a PhD (or equivalent) in a relevant life sciences discipline, have excellent communication skills, and have 5+ years of postdoctoral experience (or equivalent) in antibody discovery technologies, protein biochemistry, protein engineering, and molecular/synthetic biology.
For applicants that wish to immediately apply for an Associate Professor position, applicants must be able to document university didactic/pedagogic training. However, the possibility of transitioning from Senior Researcher to Associate Professor during the employment also exists for those that are yet to qualify for these requirements.

In our research group, 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 (and students). Training and experience in project management is highly wanted, and applicants from industry are encouraged to apply.

It is expected that the applicant has extensive experience with several of the following techniques:

  • Phage display technology
  • Mammalian cell cultivation
  • Biophysical characterization of proteins and protein-protein interactions (SPR, ITC, SEC, DSC etc.)
  • Toxin isolation and purification
  • Recombinant protein expression and purification
  • Discovery of human monoclonal IgGs
  • Discovery of monoclonal nanobodies
  • Preclinical testing of antibodies and/or toxins

Training in project management and leadership is also highly sought.

Assessment
In the assessment of the candidates, consideration will be given to:

  • Experience with leading therapeutic antibody and/or nanobody discovery projects
  • International impact and experience
  • Leadership potential and collaboration
  • Communication skills
  • Research impact and experience, funding track record, and research vision
  • Societal impact
  • Documented innovation activities, including commercialization and collaboration with industry
  • Experience and quality of teaching

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. 

More specifically in the Tropical Pharmacology Lab, we are a group of high performing 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.

See more: www.tropicalpharmacology.com

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.

If you are a non-Dane (or have lived for a sufficient number of years outside of Denmark), you may be eligible for the attractive Researcher Tax scheme: https://skat.dk/skat.aspx?oid=97319. Successful application to this scheme is, however, not promised by DTU.

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 position is for 5 years.

Further Information
Additional information may be obtained from Assoc. Prof. Andreas Hougard Laustsen, ahola@bio.dtu.dk

Application procedure
Please submit your online application no later than 30 November 2020 (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 in the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one PDF fileThe file must include:

  • Application (cover letter)
  • CV
  • Teaching and research statement, with a focus on the “Assessment” bullets points listed above
  • Documentation of previous teaching and research, as related to the “Assessment” bullet points listed above
  • List of publications
  • H-index, and ORCID (see e.g. http://orcid.org/)
  • Diploma (MSc/PhD)

In the field “Please indicate which position you are applying for”, please indicate whether you are applying for the position as a Senior Researcher or Associate Professor.

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 Bioengineering
The Department of Biotechnology and Biomedicine (DTU Bioengineering) is an international leader in the areas of biotechnology and biomedicine. Our engineering approach to all aspects of biotechnology and biomedicine positions us as a valuable player with unique competences in a growing bio-based economy and with health systems transforming towards personalized medicine. We have a clear focus on the needs in the life science industry and point towards innovation, new businesses and scientific services for the benefit of society. The department has extensive collaborations with national and international research units and industry. DTU Bioengineering has approx. 210 employees, of which 2/3 are scientific staff. The department is located at DTU Lyngby Campus.

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 12,000 students and 6,000 employees. We work in an international atmosphere and have an inclusive, evolving, and informal working environment. Our main campus is in Kgs. Lyngby north of Copenhagen and we have campuses in Roskilde and Ballerup and in Sisimiut in Greenland