Phd Position In Extracellular Vesicle-Mediated Cas9 Delivery (1.0 Fte)

Utrecht University


July 4, 2021


PhD position in extracellular vesicle-mediated Cas9 delivery (1.0 FTE)

Job description

Over the last decade, CRISPR/Cas9-based techniques have been developed for various genomic engineering strategies in eukaryotic cells. Using single guide RNAs (sgRNA) containing specific targeting sequences, Cas9 can target precise genomic locations. Here, Cas9 can be employed to create double- stranded DNA breaks, generate precise mutations, incorporate specific sequences, or regulate RNA transcription. Thus, CRISPR/Cas9-based techniques are of substantial interest for the development of novel therapies to treat genetic diseases. Moreover, as they can be targeted to precise genomic targets with high specificity, they have considerable therapeutic potential for currently “un-druggable” pathologies. Unfortunately, one of the major hurdles in the development of CRISPR/Cas9-based therapies is the intracellular delivery of Cas9-sgRNA complexes. Cas9-sgRNA complexes are unable to cross the cell membrane due to their large size, as well as their negative charge. Moreover, Cas9-sgRNA complexes need to be shielded from opsonization and degradation in circulation, due to their immunogenicity.


We are looking for a candidate who meets the following requirements:

  • a Master's degree in Biology, Biomedical Sciences, Pharmaceutical Sciences, or a related field;
  • a background in at least one of the following areas: extracellular vesicles, cell biology, cloning/protein engineering, CRISPR/Cas;
  • preferable experience with cell culture and analysis (e.g. Western Blot, Microscopy, Flow Cytometry, and/or qPCR);
  • excellent communicative skills in English, both in writing and speech.
  • Offer We offer: About the organization

    The Pharmaceutics division is one of five divisions within the Utrecht Institute for Pharmaceutical Sciences and is an internationally renowned top- research group in the field of drug delivery. The core activity of the department is the design and pre-clinical testing of tailor-made drug delivery systems for site-specific, time- and/or rate-controlled delivery of small molecular weight drugs, therapeutic proteins, nucleic acids (including DNA and siRNA), and antigens for therapy and prevention of life-threatening diseases such as cancer, inflammation, and infectious diseases. The Pharmaceutics team consists of scientists from all over the world who like to work in a multidisciplinary environment in which fundamental research and applied sciences are interconnected.

    Additional information

    If you have any questions that you'd like us to answer, please contact Dr Olivier de Jong (

    Everyone deserves to feel at home at our university. We welcome employees with a wide variety of backgrounds and perspectives. If you have the expertise and the experience to excel in this role, then simply respond via the “Apply now” button!

  • your letter of motivation;
  • your Curriculum vitae;
  • the names, telephone numbers, and email addresses of at least two references.
  • If this specific opportunity isn't for you, but you know someone else who may be interested, please forward this vacancy to them. Please note: Due to the current situation regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19) the process of selection and interviews is subject to change. Initial interviews will most likely be conducted online. Some connections are fundamental – Be one of them

    The application deadline is 04/07/2021

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