JOB POSTING: PhD position

Recruiting organisation: Biberach University of Applied Science, Germany

PI: Prof. Dr. Chrystelle Mavoungou

Subproject title: Safe-by-Design

Starting date: 01.10.2021

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Job description:

The advertised subproject will be carried out by a PhD student (“Early-stage Researcher”) at Biberach University over a period of 36 months. The recruited researcher will work at the Institute of Applied Biotechnology (IAB), located in the faculty Biotechnology. The IAB that has research and development projects in the field of Biopharmaceutics, Advanced Therapeutic Medicinal Products, Drug Delivery, Regulatory Affairs and Pharmaceutical Quality, as well as in Industrial Bioengineering, in the close vicinity with leading global Pharmaceutical and Biotechnological Companies in the South of Germany. The ESR will be registered for the PhD program at University of Bern in Switzerland.

The overall goal of this subproject is the development of a Safe-by-Design data-based computational platform for the intranasal drug delivery system in support of toxicological determination of intranasal drug delivery systems.

The specific goals are:

  1. Safe-by-Design approach by means of data-based modelling);
  2. Optimal design of Drug Delivery Systems, based on innovative safe-by-design computational tools and methodology.

The main working tasks of the advertised subproject are:

  1. A safe-by-design modelling framework development to ensure the safe uptake of the mAb by alleviating the olfactory mucosa burden for patients receiving additional treatment that can affect the mucosa integrity and functionality.
  2. Identification of relevant process parameters with an influence in drug release.
  3. Modelling of an adaptable artificial intelligence tool allowing a new and efficient monitoring approach to prevent undesirable overload of the mucosa upon continuous administration of Drug products over a long period in the olfactory cleft.

Secondments are planned as follows:

  1. Centre for Research & Technology Hellas, Greece: Two months
  2. Queen Mary University of London, United Kingdom: One month
  3. MyBiotech, Germany: One month

This subproject is fully funded by the Marie Skłodowska-Curie European Training Network „Bio2Brain“ (H2020-MSCA-ITN-2020). The monthly gross salary consists of a living allowance, mobility allowance, and family allowance (if applicable). This is € 45,262.80 per annum which includes the single person’s mobility allowance, or €51,262.80 per annum, which includes the married person’s/dependents mobility allowance.

For more information on MSCA-ITN, please see: https://ec.europa.eu/research/mariecurieactions/.

The recruited researcher will have the opportunity to work as part of an international, interdisciplinary team of 13 PhD students, based at universities and industrial firms throughout Europe.

The successful candidate will attend yearly summer schools as well as international meetings and will receive training on transferable skills. The ESR is expected to finish the project with a PhD thesis and to disseminate the results through patents (if applicable), publications in peer-reviewed journals and presentations at international conferences.

Background information:

Marie Skłodowska-Curie European Training Networks (ETNs) are joint research and training projects funded by the European Union. Funding is provided for PhD students from both inside and outside Europe to carry out individual project work in a European country other than their own.

The Bio2Brain network will create a research environment for the interdisciplinary and intersectoral training of 13 ESRs for project work lasting for 36 months. They are supported by 11 academic teams (beneficiaries and partner universities), 5 key industrial stakeholders and an academic non-profit organization.

Disorders of the central nervous system (CNS), including multiple sclerosis as well as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, affect around 165 million people in Europe. These disorders are often associated with severe suffering of the patients and their families, as well as an enormous burden on the social systems.

The Bio2Brain trans-European research network aims to promote efficient drug administration to the CNS. The research and training programme covers the development of new advanced materials, formulations, and engineered proteins for the intranasal CNS delivery of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs). The ESRs will obtain experience in the entire transdisciplinary development cycle of the medicinal product, from pharmacological drug pathway validation, product and process design, synthesis to characterization, as well as validation and quality control. The training will be complemented with useful tools for the time to market and commercialisation phase.

Requirements:

Qualifications / experience:

  • Early-stage researcher: a researcher without a PhD, who is in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of their research career, measured from the date when the ESR obtained the degree, which would formally entitle to embark on a doctorate.
    Compulsory national service, short stays such as holidays, and time spent as part of a procedure for obtaining refugee status under the Geneva Convention are not taken into account.
  • Graduation in the field of chemistry, bioinformatics & molecular engineering, biopharmaceutical engineering or related fields – M.Sc. required,
  • Experience in at least one of the following areas:
    • Bioengineering with a focus
    • Metabolic Engineering and Formulation
    • Protein chemistry
    • Material science
    • Bioinformatics and Artificial intelligence
  • Practical experience in laboratory work is a must.
  • Basic knowledge of (bio-)analytics (including Mass Spectrometry and FTIR) is a plus.
  • Basic knowledge in electrical engineering is a plus.
  • Basic knowledge in Structure biology.
  • Good knowledge of data analysis/ Multivariate data analysis (using e.g., MatLab, OPUS, Camo etc.) and Microsoft Office.
  • Well-structured and autonomous working style, flexible and co-operative, good organizational and communication skills, good writing and presentation skills, willing to travel and go on secondments.
  • Fluency in written and spoken English is a must, German is a plus.

Disabled applicants will be given preference, if equally qualified. Goals related to gender equality and diversity policy are an integral part at our institution. Therefore, we are pleased to receive applications from qualified women and diverse persons.

Mobility:

The applicant must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies etc.) in Germany for more than 12 months in the past three years. Compulsory national service, short stays such as holidays, and time spent as part of a procedure for obtaining refugee status under the Geneva Convention are not taken into account.

The approval of a work and residence permit for Germany is a prerequisite.

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How to apply:

Interested candidates are strongly advised, prior to applying, to read carefully the job description and to contact Ms. Nadine Nagel at nagel@hochschule-bc.de for questions related to administrative requirements and Ms. Chrystelle Mavoungou at esr5@hochschule-bc.de in case of any scientific requests, questions or doubts.

Application system closed.

Assessment process on-going.

For further information about Biberach University, please see: https://www.hochschule-biberach.de. For our research on intranasal drug delivery, please see: https://www.hochschule-biberach.de/nose2brain.

For questions, please contact:
For scientific issues Prof. Dr. Chrystelle Mavoungou: esr5@hochschule-bc.de, and for administrative questions Ms. Nadine Nagel nagel@hochschule-bc.de.

Assessment of applications starts 6 April 2021

Interviews are planned for April/ May 2021.