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EU  Ocuther

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 722717.


OZ Biosciences (OZB) is a French corporation founded in 2003 in Marseille, that creates and develops new research tools focused on delivery technologies of bioactive materials into living organisms intended for the life sciences research world and pharmaceutical industries. The company is located in the Scientific Park of Marseille-Luminy, France, surrounded by many state-of-the-art research institutes and facilities in a modern campus. OZB is equipped with modern facilities for cell biology, molecular biology, chemistry and biochemistry and has access to many technological platform and facilities.

The company is particularly specialized in nanotechnologies, transfection and transduction tools. The proprietary technologies of OZB are based on new lipids, polymers, liposomes and magnetic nanoparticles. OZB current R&D activities are focused on the synthesis of new lipids, polymers, liposomes, immunoliposomes, targeting ligands and iron oxide magnetic nanoparticles for the delivery of various nucleic acids, proteins and other molecules applied to neurosciences, regenerative medicine, vaccines, ophthalmology, ex-vivo gene therapy and cancer.

OZ Biosciences, in association with the University of Padova (Italy), invites applications for the OCUTHER European Training Network within Marie Sklodowska Curie Programme. The applications are invited for a:

DOCTORAL STUDENT POSITION (Early Stage Researcher 14: Magnetic and polymer-based nanoparticles for retinal delivery.)

In this ESR project, magnetic and polymer-based nanoparticles will be investigated in biological context to generate data towards improved ocular drug delivery. Nanoparticles will be formulated, characterized, and their interactions with isolated eye tissues will be studied.

The main objective of this work is to encapsulate or load biologically active drugs and RNA to the magnetically responsive nanoparticles or to the polymer-based nanoparticles, for efficient delivery in the eye. Particularly, the overall goal is to develop a versatile and innovative delivery system for small molecules and nucleic acid targeting the retina after topical (non invasive) administration, in order to engender therapeutic benefits to treat retinal degeneration. The strategy is based on several nanoparticles that can be guided or not with magnets to transport drugs in the retina.

The main technical duties relative for this research program includes the synthesis and characterization of magnetic nanoparticles, qualitative and quantitative drug-loading studies using physico-chemical techniques (HPLC, light-scattering…), biological evaluation of the carriers on relevant cell-lines and involvement in the in vivo studies (pharmacology, toxicology, efficacy) conducted within the consortium.

Required background: M.Sc. degree with excellent marks in appropriate field of science (Biochemistry, pharmacy, medicine, chemistry, biology, material sciences…). Due to the complex and ambitious nature of the project, we are looking for multi-disciplinary backgrounds.

OZ Biosciences is a biotechnological company whose main R&D interests involve organic chemistry, cellular biology and material sciences. The company has 15 years experience in the field of delivery technologies, with several patented techniques and customers worldwide. The company is located in France (headquarter) and in the USA (San Diego, California). OZB’s target is to provide researchers top-quality life sciences research reagents to assist them solving their drug delivery concerns. To reach this goal, the company focuses its R&D activities towards the synthesis of innovative compounds (lipids, polymers, nanoparticles…), their formulation and their evaluation in biological systems in vitro, ex vivo or in vivo. OZB has particularly strong expertise in the field of gene delivery assisted by magnetic nanoparticles (the Magnetofection technology) and Lipofection. The successful candidate will thus pursue an extended training program in the intersection of these entire technical fields, with an emphasis on the drug delivery assisted by nanoparticles.

The OCUTHER network will provide for the selected candidate, extensive training across a wide range of disciplines including biology, pharmacology, chemistry and material sciences, ensuring interdisciplinary and inter-sectoral experience. The main goal of this program is to create a network of junior scientists who will be tomorrow’s leaders in regenerative ocular medicine research.

You will be enrolled in University of Padova (Italy) doctoral program in Molecular sciences: pharmaceutical and pharmacological Sciences, and will defend your PhD at the end of the project. The PhD research work will be conducted in Marseille (France) in OZB facilities, either in English or French.

What we have to offer

  • Employment: 1,0 fte;
  • Duration of the contract: 3 years;
  • OZB will offer a salary dependent on qualifications and work experience. At the beginning of the employment period a doctoral student’s salary will range from €2100 to €2400 gross per month; Moreover the training program includes, mobility allowance to pursue training across the network, and a family allowance if relevant.
  • Expected starting date: June 2017.

What we expect from you

At the time of recruitment you must be in the first four years of your research career and have not yet been awarded a doctoral degree. You have excellent communication skills and are able to work efficiently in a team. We are waiting for a hard-working and curious person, able to take the leadership in an ambitious project, and also to create and keep going an active collaboration within the network. We are also seeking for someone who has the will to be invested in a biotechnology company everyday life.

Recruitment is open to all nationalities, but because of mobility rules defined by the EU, at the time of recruitment, candidates must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in France for more than 12 months in the three years immediately prior to the reference date (compulsory national service and/or short stays, such as holidays, are not taken into account).

Would you like to know more?

  • Further information on: OZ Biosciences (; Ocuther program
  • Padova University
  • For more information about this vacancy, please contact:
    • Dr. Florent Poulhes;
    • E-mail:

Are you interested?

Your application should include (and be limited to) the following attachments:

  • Letter of motivation
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Brief statement on how you will contribute to this project

Please submit your application, together with the required attachments, to Dr. Florent Poulhes to the address:

The deadline for applications is 05/02/2017. Interviews will be planned soon after this date.