PhD researcher in modified DNA and PNA synthesis

Ghent University
October 03, 2023
Offerd Salary:Negotiation
Working address:N/A
Contract Type:Other
Working Time:Full time
Working type:N/A
Ref info:N/A

→ Apply before 03/10/2023 (DD/MM/YYYY) 23:59 (Brussels Time) → Faculty of Sciences → Department: WE07 - Organische en Macromoleculaire Chemie → Occupancy rate:100% → Number of positions: 1 → Type of employment: Contract of unlimited duration with a 4 year clause → Term of assignment: 4 jaar → Wage scale: WM1 to WM4 (master degree) → Required diploma: Master


Ghent University is a world of its own. Employing more than 8,000 people, it is actively involved in education and research, management and administration, as well as technical and social service provision on a daily basis. It is one of the largest, most exciting employers in the area and offers great career opportunities. With 11 faculties and more than 80 departments offering state- of-the-art study programmes grounded in research in a wide range of academic fields, Ghent University is a logical choice for its staff and students.


  • At least 90% of your assignment will be spent on academic research in preparation of a doctoral dissertation
  • The OBCR group at the Ghent University Ghent has two open positions for PhDs to strengthen our developments in the field of photo-electrochemical sensors for detection of nucleic acid-based cancer biomarkers within the interdisciplinary project SOCan. SOCan “A photo-electrochemical singlet oxygen-based platform for the rapid detection of a panel of cancer biomarkers in tissue and liquid biopsies” is a project involving six research groups two at the University of Antwerp, two at Ghent University and two at the University hospital of Antwerp. This interdisciplinary project houses seven PhD students and five postdoctoral researchers. The project aims to develop, optimize and validate a novel photo-electrochemical detection technology for a panel of nucleic acid cancer biomarkers. Hence, SOCan will pave the way for the construction of affordable, robust, and user-friendly platforms for healthcare applications, i.e. cancer diagnosis, follow-up and therapeutic management.
  • The overall goal of this PhD is the development of a novel photo- electrochemical biosensing platform. Due to the integration of recognition bio-elements such as modified DNA and PNA sequences, electrochemical biosensors are ideally suited for the selective determination of a wide variety of clinically relevant nucleic acid biomarker targets. The detection of the nucleic acid biomarkers of interest will be achieved by specifically designed DNA or PNA capture and detection sequences. This PhD will contribute to the efforts of further optimizing the detection sensitivity and specificity of the technology. The PhD student will work in close collaboration with the lab of Prof. Karolien De Wael (A-Sense lab, University of Antwerp) and Prof. Guy Van Camp (Medical Genetics, University of Antwerp).

  • You hold a Master's degree in Chemistry, Bioscience Engineering, Pharmaceutical Sciences, or equivalent
  • Highly motivated, eager to learn and team-oriented
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills
  • A creative and analytical mind
  • In view of the international context, mastering of the English language (both oral and written) is mandatory
  • Essential

    • Interest in PNA or DNA synthesis and peptide/nucleic acid-based diagnostic probes

    • Ability to work in a multidisciplinary research project

  • Ability to work collaboratively across different research groups and fields of expertise
  • Ability to write research reports and manuscripts
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English
  • Of added value

  • Experience in peptide or oligonucleotide synthesis
  • Experience with mass spectrometry, HPLC analysis and purification, structure analysis with NMR.
  • Experience with electrochemistry
  • Experience with photochemistry

  • We offer you a contract of indefinite duration with a maximum term of 4 years.
  • Your contract will start on 1/11/2023 at the earliest.
  • Your remuneration will be determined by salary scale WM1. Click here for more information about our salary scales.
  • All Ghent University staff members enjoy a number of benefits, such as a wide range of training and education opportunities, 36 days of holiday leave (on an annual basis for a full-time job) supplemented by annual fixed bridge days, a bicycle allowance and eco vouchers. Click here for a complete overview of all the staff benefits (in Dutch).

    Apply online through the e-recruitment system before the application deadline (see above). We do not accept late applications or applications that are not submitted through the online system.

    Your application must include the following documents:

  • In the field ‘CV' : your CV and an overview of your study results (merged into one pdf file)
  • In the field ‘Cover letter' : your application letter in pdf format
  • In the field ‘Diploma' : a transcript of the required degree (if already in your possession). If you have a foreign diploma in a language other than our national languages (Dutch, French or German) or English, please add a translation in one of the mentioned languages.
  • In the field “other documents” : two recommendation letters
  • Note that the maximum file size for each field is 10 MB.

    As Ghent University maintains an equal opportunities and diversity policy, everyone is encouraged to apply for this position.


    For more information about this vacancy, please contact Prof. Annemieke Madder [email protected]). Important: do NOT send your application by email, but apply online.

    Do you have a question regarding the online application process? Please read our FAQ or contact helpdesk ([email protected] - tel. 09/264 98 98)

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