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PhD-student (ESR3): Targeted modulation of the adenosine checkpoint

Development of Adenosine-2A-Receptor (A2AR)-targeting bispecific antibodies and preclinical validation tools This challenging PhD opportunity offers an …

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Hanzeplein, Groningen, Groningen
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht


Development of Adenosine-2A-Receptor (A2AR)-targeting bispecific antibodies and preclinical validation tools
This challenging PhD opportunity offers an exciting and innovative research project at the intersection of biotechnology and physical chemistry that will end in a PhD thesis. In brief, a novel bispecific antibody-based approach that removes an important checkpoint on anticancer T cell immunity, namely inhibition by A2AR signaling, will be developed. This approach will be tested in several in-house developed model systems, including microparticles with tumor surface properties, for tumor-selective binding and for functional immunomodulatory activity. This research project will end with a PhD thesis defense at the University of Groningen.

Keywords: Bioanalysis, microparticles, nanoparticles, surface modification, drug-delivery, bispecific antibodies

Key Responsibilities:
- Preparation of tumour-targeted bsAbs and nanoparticle-based drug-delivery formulations
- Analysis of biomolecular interactions between model tumor cells and drug-delivery vesicles (nanoparticles loaded with T-cell targeting immunocytokines/bispecific antibodies)
- Development of model tumor cells by means of microparticle synthesis, coating and bio-functionalization
- Various encapsulation and surface modification activities
- Operation, optimization and further development of a bioanalysis platform that uses functionalized microparticles (model tumor cells) as sensors (Measurement principle: Whispering Gallery Modes)
- Optimization of the in vitro test conditions for a realistic simulation of the in vivo conditions
- Management, presentation and publication of research data


- You are in the first four years of your research career and does not have a doctoral degree
- Residence duration in Germany does not exceed 12 months in total within the last 3 years
- MSc in chemistry, biochemistry, biotechnology, engineering or related
- Proven track record in one or more of the following fields:
Absorption and fluorescence spectroscopy
Analysis of biomolecular interactions e.g. protein-protein, antibody-antigen
Biosensors and bioanalysis (Surface Plasmon Resonance, Quartz Crystal Microbalance, Whispering Gallery Modes)
Confocal Laser Scanning Microscopy, Flow Cytometry
Surface modification and functionalization, nanoscale coatings
Nanoparticle / microparticle synthesis
Drug-delivery systems
- Affinity to data management and IT
- Collaboration skills, demonstrating agility and initiative. Ability to communicate effectively in English, both internally in the team as well as with consortium partners
- German language or the willingness to learn German is advantageous

The UMCG has a preventive Hepatitis B policy. The UMCG can provide you with the vaccination, should it be required for your position.

In case of specific professions a ‘Certificate of Good Conduct’ is required.


A PhD student position for 3 years as part of a Marie Curie Actions Innovative Industrial Doctorate training network. 1st Hosting institution: Location: Surflay, Berlin, Germany, duration: 18 months. 2nd Hosting institution: Location: UMCG, Groningen, Netherlands, duration: 18 months. Intended start date: September 2019. Benefits according to EU MCA regulations.

Applying for a job
Please send your application to recruitment@surflay.com as job application ESR3 Targeted modulation of the adenosine checkpoint. The application deadline is 31 July 2019.
(please do not use the digital application form)