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Chemical biology tools for drug development

  • Full or part time
    Dr J Konvalinka
    Dr P Sacha
  • Application Deadline
    Sunday, February 23, 2020
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

Laboratory of Jan Konvalinka looks for a PhD candidates to work on development of several novel chemical biology tools for drug design, target discovery and validation, compound screening and target protein visualization. Recently, we have developed several novel techniques for visualization, isolation, identification and screening of biologically relevant proteins. Specifically, we have developed polymer conjugates decorated by specific ligands, affinity anchors and labels for visualization (iBodies) and showed that they are capable of replacing monoclonal antibodies in number of in vitro and in vivo applications such as ELISA, Western blot, affinity pull-down, FACS or receptor activation. Furthermore, we developed novel ultrasensitive method for enzyme quantification and high-throughput inhibitor screening based of probes combining specific ligand of the enzyme and a stretch of DNA (DIANA). The selected candidate(s) will use and further develop these methods for the identification, characterization and visualization of tumor antigens and immunity checkpoints and develop methods for screening and evaluation of their specific ligands by directed evolution. Ultimately, the project will lead to the development of potential therapeutic and diagnostic tools for malignancies and viral infections.

The project is generously supported by international as well as domestic grant funnds and enjoys extensive international collaborations (Stanford, USA; UCL, UK; Uni Heidelberg, Germany; Weizmann Institute, Israel; Gilead Sciences, USA).

How to apply

To apply for a PhD study at IOCB Prague, you must hold a Master’s degree (MSc) or the equivalent of the MSc in similar field (four or five year undergraduate degree). The application can be submitted before obtaining the Master’s degree, however, the applicant should obtain the degree within five months after the application deadline.

For more information visit our website “Call for PhD applications 2020”:

If you decided to apply, please do so online via our application form:

Funding Notes

Regular monthly income of students at IOCB Prague varies depending on the faculty scholarship and supervisor's financial options.


Šácha, P. et al. (2016). iBodies: Modular Synthetic Antibody Mimetics Based on Hydrophilic Polymers Decorated with Functional Moieties. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. Engl. 55, 2356-2360

Navrátil, V. et al. (2017) DNA-linked Inhibitor Antibody Assay (DIANA) for sensitive and selective enzyme detection and inhibitor screening. Nucl. Acids Res. 45 (2), e10 DOI: 10.1093/nar/gkw853

Dvořáková P. et al. (2017) Inhibitor-Decorated Polymer Conjugates Targeting Fibroblast Activation Protein. J Med Chem. 60, 8385-8393. doi: 10.1021/acs.jmedchem.7b00767

Šimon, P. et al. (2018). Identification of Protein Targets of Bioactive Small Molecules Using Randomly Photomodified Probes, ACS Chem. Biol. 13, 3333-3342

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