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  Automatable and high throughput techniques to determine site specificity and quantification of N and O glycan profiles of therapeutic proteins - PhD position

   University of Leiden

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  Dr D Spencer  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

The graduate school Analytics for Biologics (A4B) is offering 15 PhD positions with the aim to produce the much-needed specialists in field of production, down-stream processing and analysis of therapeutic proteins (TP). This Marie Sklodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network (ITN) is composed of 11 European academic and industrial institutions and provides the optimal scientific network for training schools and individual research projects toward a common goal.

Ludger is a UK bioscience company specialising in the development and manufacture of glycan characterisation technology for biopharmaceuticals and the study of cellular diseases including cancer and rheumatoid arthritis. Our clients include biotechnology companies and research organisations worldwide.

One of the A4B PhD positions will be based at Ludger Ltd, funded and based at Ludger Ltd. for three years and supervised by Dr Daniel Spencer, with the PhD registered at the Leiden University Medical Centre with Professor Manfred Wuhrer as a four year course. The PhD position will suit someone with both synthetic chemistry and analytical chemistry experience and will involve the synthesis of a novel fluorophore to be used for automated high throughput glycan and glycopeptide analysis.

The PhD student will focus on the development of automatable and high throughput techniques to determine site specificity and quantification of N and O glycan profiles of EPO and TNF-AB. The project will build upon a recently developed product, VTAG, used to analyze and relatively quantify glycan types on the Fc receptor of monoclonal antibodies.

Glycans from the therapeutic proteins will be analysed using UHPLC based hydrophilic interaction chromatography, and a glycopeptide fluorophore label will be optimized for MS and CGE-LIF analysis by chemical modification. Additionally, quantitative glycopeptide standards will be prepared and finally the assay will be automated and validated according to ICHQ2(R1) guidelines

The successful candidates will benefit from a wide-ranging training programme featuring: symposia and workshops as well as local courses and participation in (inter)national conferences. There will be ample opportunity to meet other ESRs involved in the program, and to travel to other European partners in the network (through A4B meetings and short visits). The successful applicant will also benefit from two secondments to other collaborating partners during the project.

Please be aware that candidates should comply with the general mobility criteria for Marie Curie early-stage researchers. In particular, the fellows to be appointed must not have resided or carried out their main activity in the host organization's country for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the appointment date. Short stays such as holidays are not taken into account

The candidate should hold a masters degree with experience in either chemistry, synthetic chemistry, analytical chemistry, or equivalent, and knowledge of statistical analyses, mass spectrometry, and process automation are highly desired. A good level of English (spoken and written) is mandatory. The candidate would be expected to report elements of their work at meetings within Ludger, the scientific community and to non-scientists. Applications are welcome from all suitably qualified candidates, irrespective of gender, disability, marital or parental status, racial, ethnic or social origin, colour, religion, belief or sexual orientation.

Research Fields: Glycobiology, biopharmaceuticals, synthetic chemistry, analytical chemistry, production process control, mass spectrometry.
Career Stage: Early Stage Researcher – PhD position

Benefits: Marie Sklodowska-Curie ESR stipend per annum plus mobility allowance.

For further details on the consortium please visit our website at:

Apply to: Dr. Daniel Spencer (Head of Development. Email: [Email Address Removed])
Applications by: 6pm 28 February 2018
Applications Format: Application should include a CV and a cover letter stating motivation and expectations from participation in A4B, and listing the names of two referees.

 About the Project