PhD project: Development and preclinical evaluation of innovative
NANOBODY®-based radioprobes for imaging and targeted radionuclide therapy
Last modification : Monday, June 7, 2021
The work will be performed in the laboratory for Radiopharmaceutical Research
under the direct supervision of Prof. G. Bormans and Prof. F. Cleeren
(www. radiopharmacy.be) and in the facilities of Ablynx (www. ablynx.com).
The lab of radiopharmaceutical research is equipped with all the necessary
state-of-the-art equipment for the development of diagnostic and therapeutic
radiopharmaceuticals. For the pre-clinical validation of novel diagnostic and
therapeutic radiotracers in small animals, dedicated imaging instrumentation
can be accessed at the Molecular Small Animal Imaging Centre (MoSAIC,
https: // gbiomed.kuleuven.be/english/corefacilities/copyofmosaic/). Novel
radiopharmaceuticals are translated to the clinic in direct collaboration with
the Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (NMMI) unit of the University
Hospital (UZ) Leuven. KU Leuven is one of the top 50 universities in the
world (top 10 in Europe) according to the "Times Higher Education" ranking,
and ranks #7 (top in Europe) in the "World's Most Innovative Universities"
ranking elaborated by Reuters. KU Leuven offers an exciting multi-disciplinary
research environment, a broad range of training courses for PhD students, and
full social and medical insurance.
Ablynx, a Sanofi company, is engaged in the development of NANOBODY® proteins,
proprietary therapeutic proteins based on single-domain antibody fragments,
which combine the advantages of conventional antibody drugs with some of the
features of small-molecule drugs. NANOBODY® proteins have potential uses in
the treatment of a range of serious and life-threatening human diseases.
The laboratory for Radiopharmaceutical Research, together with Ablynx, will
submit a Baekeland PhD project (Vlaio) based on the development and
preclinical evaluation of innovative NANOBODY®-based radioprobes. We are
currently looking for a motivated PhD student to embark on a 4-year PhD
project. The candidate will be involved in the project application process and
is expected to defend the project for the Vlaio review board (October-
November, 2021). The project will involve, but is not limited to, organic
synthesis, various analytical techniques (NMR, HPLC, HRMS, …),
radiochemistry with diagnostic and therapeutic radionuclides, in vitro cell
work and biological assays, in vivo imaging studies in small animals,
therapeutic efficacy studies in tumor models. The work will be partially
conducted in Ablynx and in the laboratory for Radiopharmaceutical Research.
Master degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences, Master of Science in
Bioengineering, Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences, Master of
Science in Biochemistry, or equivalent. Students in their final master
year can also apply.
Fluency in spoken and written English is mandatory
Ability to work in an interdisciplinary and collaborative environment
Ability to write clear scientific reports and disseminate results
Good oral, interpersonal and written communication skills
Appetite for innovation and transforming research results into industrial
You will engage yourself with enthusiasm and perseverance to a four-year
You are ambitious, dynamic, flexible and take an open attitude towards
problems and evolutions
We offer a fulltime PhD position for 1 year, extendable to 4 years after
initial positive evaluation. You will have to apply for a Baekeland mandate
(including evaluation stage) which will be supported by both the laboratory
for Radiopharmaceutical Research and Ablynx.
Training in safe handling of radioactive compounds and small animal handling
For more information please contact Prof. dr. Frederik Cleeren, tel.: +32 16
37 72 37, mail: email@example.com.
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regardless of gender, age, cultural background, nationality or impairments. If
you have any questions relating to accessibility or support, please contact us