Jobs

Postdoc / staff scientist to develop clinically viable brain delivery technologies for biologicals

Employer

VIB-KU Leuven Center for Brain & Disease Research

Location

Leuven , Belgium

Principal Investigator

Bart De Strooper

Contact

Please complete the online application procedure and include a detailed CV, a short motivation letter describing previous research experience and the names and contact information of three references. Interested candidates are invited to apply as soon as possible. Applications will be welcome until the position is filled.

For more information: please contact Bart De Strooper, or go to http://www.vib.be/en/research/scientists/Pages/Bart-De-Strooper-Lab.aspx.

Description

The De Strooper lab's project is to identify, through a highly innovative and challenging in vivo screening platform, novel RMT receptors with higher capacity and/or safety and/or specificity profile. Due to the smart design of the platform, this study will also identify VHHs (Nanobodies®, single-chain antibody fragments originating from camelids) able to cross the BBB through these receptors. The major goals of this highly translational project are:

  1. to generate a therapeutic drug candidate for cancer brain metastasis in the next three years;
  2. getting proof of concept for the in vivo screening platform;
  3. found a spin-off company around the technology and generated drug candidates.

The current blood-brain-barrier team in the lab comprises four researchers and is supported by two major local grants (SBO (FWO) and Grand Challenges (VIB)), and some other funding resources (FWO scholarship and Cure AD fund). The team has ongoing intense collaborations with multiple national and international academic partners and companies. The collaboration (and funding) is coordinated from within the De Strooper lab.

To strengthen this team, the lab is looking for a dynamic and ambitious scientist, preferentially with experience in BBB studies and/or antibody/VHH drug development and interested in bringing invention to practice. The selected candidate will be responsible for implementing and extending VIB's biologic-to-brain delivery platform. The candidate is expected to participate in the practical lab work and to guide and supervise colleagues. This project is situated at the crossover between academic research and industry and is co-supervised and supported by VIB Discovery Sciences, VIB's team of industry-trained scientists.

Requirements

Essential

  • Interested in delivering drugs to the brain.
  • Experience with standard cell biology (mammalian cell culture, FACS, immunofluorescence, …) and molecular biology techniques (cloning, protein expression and purification. 
  • Experience with assay development (ELISA, AlphaScreen, cell-based screens, reporter assays …).
  • Ability to collaborate effectively with the academic partners, CROs, external co-development partners and VIB's Innovation and Business team, ability to guide lab members/technical assistants.
  • Innovative and creative personality.
  • Hands-on attitude.
  • A keen interest in translational research.
  • Ability to independently generate precise, reliable data and interpret them.
  • Ph.D. in biochemistry, molecular biology, neurosciences, or a related field.
  • Fluency in English (verbally and in writing) is mandatory.

Desirable but not required

  • Expertise in blood-brain-barrier biology.
  • Expertise in antibody and nanobody technology.
  • Experience with project management.
  • Experience with industrial collaborations.
  • Experience in a nonacademic environment.
  • Experience with in vivo models.
  • Experience in antibody candidate generation, hit selection methods, cross-reactivity testing, cellular functional testing, affinity and potency testing, etc.
  • Experience in protein engineering and/or affinity maturation methods.
  • Experience with phage display.
  • Good publication record.