Deadline: 2018-12-21

Location: Lyngby, Denmark

External link:

Type: PhD student

A PhD studentship is available in biophysical nanomedicine at The Novo Nordisk Foundation Centre for Intestinal Absorption and Transport of Biopharmaceuticals.

The Novo Nordisk Foundation Centre for Intestinal Absorption and Transport of Biopharmaceuticals invites applications for a fully funded 3-year PhD positions in biophysical nanomedicine.

Biopharmaceuticals are critically important for current healthcare and hold the potential for new innovative treatments for many diseases and disorders. Unfortunately, many biopharmaceuticals are not absorbed by the intestines and have to be administered by other means (e.g. injection) rather than by tablets or capsules. The Centre for Intestinal Absorption and Transport of Biopharmaceuticals, located at the Technical University of Denmark in the Department of Micro- and Nanotechnology, is focused on developing new methods to significantly increase the absorption of biopharmaceuticals in the intestine so that these drugs may be administered to people as easy to swallow tablets and capsules. The Centre is a multidisciplinary research environment covering the interface between the life and physical sciences with particular emphasis on nanomedicines and the biointerface. The Center has a strong focus on elucidating the biological mechanisms regulating intestinal transport through the application of multiple fluorescence imaging modalities. To this end The Center is in the process of setting up a new imaging facility with newly acquired state-of-the-art commercial and home build microscopes.

The fully funded 3-year PhD position are in the following project:

Development of fluorescent based quantitative microscopy assays for elucidating the biophysical mechanisms underlying the transport of pharmaceutical active peptides across membranes. Newly synthesized peptide candidates produced within The Center will be studied both using artificial membrane model systems and cellular derived membrane constructs. The aim is to determine the peptide-, membrane- and cellular components that regulate and drive peptide translocation.

The Centre for Intestinal Absorption and Transport of Biopharmaceuticals is a global initiative with satellite teams located at Harvard Medical School, Boston Children’s Hospital and Monash University. PhD students will have the opportunity to spend a period of time during the 3 years in one or more of these satellite laboratories.

Responsibilities and tasks
The candidates will work as part of a team of scientists and engineers within the Centre and external collaborators. Willingness to work in an international environment is essential. The successful applicants must demonstrate the following:

  • A strong background in the physical sciences, preferably with a Master degree in physics/biophysics, analytical chemistry or related topics (e.g. pharmacy, chemical engineering, material science, bionanotechnology etc.). Experience of relevant life sciences (e.g. cell biology, physiology etc.) is a bonus, but not essential. 
  • Experience with fluorescence microscopy will be highly desirable and knowledge on quantitative image analysis a strong advantage.
  • An Interest in elucidating fundamental biological mechanisms and how this new knowledge can be related to producing new solutions within The Center 
  • The ability to work both independently and in a team within interdisciplinary fields.
  • A high degree of personal motivation.
  • Creative and critical thinking skills. 
  • Excellent communication skills in English (oral and written). 

The candidate will have the following responsibilities/tasks:

  • Learn to and conduct research at a high international level independently and within a team.
  • Conduct themselves in a professional manner.
  • Follow research plans to achieve major and minor goals linked to the Centre’s aims. 
  • Disseminate their research and help support teaching activities associated with the Centre.

The PhD candidate should be able to start at the latest by 1 April 2019.

Candidates should have a master’s degree in engineering or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to the master’s degree in engineering.

Approval and Enrolment
The scholarship for the PhD degree is subject to academic approval, and the candidate will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes at DTU. For information about our enrolment requirements and the general planning of the PhD study programme, please see the DTU PhD Guide.

The assessment of the applicants will be made by Post Doc Jannik Bruun Larsen and Professor Thomas Andresen.

We offer

DTU is a leading technical university globally recognized for the excellence of its research, education, innovation and scientific advice. We offer a rewarding and challenging job in an international environment. We strive for academic excellence in an environment characterized by collegial respect and an academic freedom tempered by responsibility.

Salary and appointment terms
The appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed with the relevant union. The period of employment is 3 years.

The student will be based at DTU Nanotech, DTU Lyngby Campus.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here.

Further information
Further information may be obtained from Post Doc Jannik Bruun Larsen, email:; tel: +45 2160 5853.

You can read more about DTU Nanotech on

Please submit your online application no later than 21 December 2018 (local time)To apply, please open the link “Apply online”, fill out the online application form. The following must be attached in English:

  • A letter motivating the application (cover letter)
  • Curriculum vitae 
  • Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma
  • Excel sheet with translation of grades to the Danish grading system (see guidelines and excel spreadsheet here

Candidates may apply prior to obtaining their master’s degree, but cannot begin before having received it.

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.

DTU Nanotech – the Department of Micro- and Nanotechnology – is situated in the northern part of Copenhagen. DTU Nanotech is a centre of excellence in micro- and nanotechnology utilising sciences across the traditional boundaries of technology, thereby enabling innovative solutions for the benefit of society. DTU Nanotech has approx. 220 staff members. With 40 % international employees, the department constitutes an international environment.

DTU is a technical university providing internationally leading research, education, innovation and 
scientific advice. Our staff of 6,000 advance science and technology to create innovative solutions that meet the demands of society, and our 11,200 students are being educated to address the technological challenges of the future. DTU is an independent academic university collaborating globally with business, industry, government and public agencies.