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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.

ESR9: Protein cages modified for cell selective delivery of siRNA to retinal cells; Eindhoven University of Technology  (TU/e, The Netherlands)

TU/e is a leading international university of technology specializing in Engineering Science & Technology. Through excellent teaching and research we contribute to progress in the technical sciences, to the development of technological innovations, and as a result to the growth of prosperity and welfare in the region and beyond. TU/e maintains close links with industry, healthcare and the building and logistics sectors.

Biomedical Engineering (BME)

The Department of Biomedical Engineering offers Bachelor’s and Master’s programs in Biomedical Engineering and Medical Engineering. In addition, the department participates in leading national and international research programs. Research areas range from Molecular Bioengineering and Molecular Imaging, Biomechanics and Tissue Engineering to Biomedical Imaging and Modeling. The department has more than 800 students and 180 staff members.

DOCTORAL STUDENT POSITION (Early Stage Researcher 9: Protein cages modified for cell selective delivery of siRNA to retinal cells)

In this project virus-like protein cages based on cowpea chlorotic mottle virus (CCMV) will be designed and prepared by protein engineering with the ability to encapsulate and deliver siRNA. The surface of the cages will be decorated with cell penetrating peptides (CPPs) for cell specific delivery, and with stealth (bio)polymers like hyaluronic acid (HA) to prevent immunological responses.

Required background: The PhD candidate should have expertise in the fields of protein engineering, chemical biology  and bioconjugation chemistry. He/she should have affinity with the pharmaceutical sciences and nanoscience/nanomedicine.

Prof. Jan van Hest’s research group at Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands, offers a programme of training in the field of Bio-Organic Chemistry. The group’s target is to create bio-inspired materials and processes in order to combine the functionality of biological systems with the flexibility and robustness of synthetic structures, using a variety of synthetic techniques, such as protein engineering, peptide synthesis and controlled polymerization methods.  Specific focus is on the construction of well-defined nanocompartment, which can be applied as delivery vehicles in nanomedicine and as cell-mimetic structures in artificial cell research.
You will perform your PhD research in a multidisciplinary Initial Training Network (ITN) project OCUTHER.

This project will provide training across a wide range of disciplines including biology, pharmacology, chemistry and material sciences, ensuring interdisciplinary and intersectoral experience. You will be enrolled in Eindhoven University of Technology’s doctoral programme and will defend your PhD at the end of the project. The PhD research in the Netherlands will be conducted in English.

What we have to offer

  • A challenging job in a dynamic and ambitious university;
  • Full-time employment as a PhD candidate for a period of 4 years;
  • A gross monthly salary from €2191 (first year) to €2801 (fourth year) in line with the Collective Agreement for Dutch Universities.
  • An attractive package of fringe benefits, including end-of-year allowance, excellent sports facilities and a personal development program for PhD students (

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. 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 The Netherlands 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?

  • For more information about this vacancy and the OCUTHER project, please contact:
  • More information about the Biomedical Engineering department can be found via this link:

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, through the Eindhoven University of Technology Recruitment System ( The deadline for applications is February 5, 2017.