PhD position in RNA chemical biology (1.0 FTE)

PhD position in RNA chemical biology (1.0 FTE)

Published Deadline Location
19 Jan 13 Feb Utrecht
Join our team to develop photochemical probes to study how RNA localization and structure imprint their biological functions, and develop drugs to target them!

Job description

Ribonucleic acid (RNA) performs many important biological functions. We design new photochemical reactions to label it, and we are doing it in the smallest, but the most complex reaction vessel – cells. Why do we do this? Because we want to investigate where in the cell certain RNAs are located, what structures they fold into, and what their partners are. All these factors govern how an RNA execute its functions in a cell. Our ambition is to run the reactions just for once, but get to know the answers to the above questions for hundreds or thousands of RNAs in one goal! Next-Gen sequencing technology will help us get there. These fundamental understandings of how RNA functions will ultimately lead to the development of novel therapeutics.

Apart from the studies into the fundamental aspects, we will also develop small molecule drugs that target RNA. Furthermore, many protein-targeting small molecules can bind to RNA, likely giving rise to unwanted adverse effects. However, these off-target effects remain largely uncharacterized, which is in dire need in drug development to comprehensively understand the mechanism of action of the drug molecules. By joining the team as PhD candidate, you will help us answer important questions in this research field such as:

  • Can we develop a modular approach to characterize RNA-binding activities of any existing protein-targeting drugs, in a high-throughput manner?
  • How can we re-purpose protein-targeting small molecules for selective RNA-targeting?
  • What are the RNA-specific/selective pharmacophores, if any?
  • Can we design de novo an RNA-targeting small molecule with a desired function to therapeutically intervene biological processes?

Specifications

Utrecht University

Requirements

We are looking for a candidate who meets the following requirements:

  • a completed master’s degree in medicinal chemistry, organic chemistry, chemical biology or related fields;
  • experience with (bio)organic chemistry;
  • preferably, experience with cell culture or RNA-related work or Next-Gen sequencing;
  • proactive, motivated, and passionate for science;
  • proficiency in English, both in speech and writing.

Conditions of employment

  • a full-time position for 4 years;
  • a full-time gross salary starting at €2,541 in the first year and increasing to €3,247 in the fourth year (scale P Collective Labor Agreement Dutch Universities (cao));
  • 8% holiday bonus and 8.3% end-of-year bonus;
  • a pension scheme, partially paid parental leave, and flexible employment conditions based on the Collective Labor Agreement Dutch Universities.

In addition to the employment conditions laid down in the CAO for Dutch Universities, Utrecht University has several additional arrangements. For example, there are agreements on professional development, leave arrangements and sports. We also give you the opportunity to expand your terms of employment yourself via the Employment Conditions Selection Model. This is how we like to encourage you to continue to grow.

For more information, please visit working at Utrecht University.

Employer

A better future for everyone. This ambition motivates our scientists in executing their leading research and inspiring teaching. At Utrecht University, the various disciplines collaborate intensively towards major societal themes. Our focus is on Dynamics of Youth, Institutions for Open Societies, Life Sciences and Sustainability.

At the Faculty of Science, there are 6 departments to make a fundamental connection with: Biology, Chemistry, Information and Computing Sciences, Mathematics, Pharmaceutical Sciences, and Physics. Each of these is made up of distinct institutes that work together to focus on answering some of humanity’s most pressing problems. More fundamental still are the individual research groups – the building blocks of our ambitious scientific projects. Find out more about the Faculty of Science.

The research will be performed at the Utrecht Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences (UIPS), which is located at the Utrecht University Campus.

Additional information

If you have any questions, please contact dr. Z. (Jack) Li (Assistant Professor) via z.li3@uu.nl.

Do you have a question about the application procedure? Please send an email to science.recruitment@uu.nl.

We would like to fill this position as soon as possible.

For more information, please visit working at the Faculty of Science

Specifications

  • PhD
  • Natural sciences
  • 38—40 hours per week
  • €2541—€3247 per month
  • University graduate
  • 1203636

Employer

Location

Padualaan 8, 3584 CH, Utrecht

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Application procedure

Everyone deserves to feel at home at our university. We welcome employees with a wide variety of backgrounds and perspectives. If you have the expertise and the experience to excel in this role, then simply respond via the “Apply” button! Please enclose:

  • your letter of motivation;
  • your curriculum vitae;
  • the names, telephone numbers, and email ad dresses of at least two references;
  • a copy of your Master’s degree, or a letter from your university stating when your degree will be issued.

If this specific opportunity isn’t for you, but you know someone who may be interested, please forward this vacancy to them.

Some connections are fundamental. Be one of them.

Application procedure

Application procedure

Everyone deserves to feel at home at our university. We welcome employees with a wide variety of backgrounds and perspectives. If you have the expertise and the experience to excel in this role, then simply respond via the “Apply” button! Please enclose:

  • your letter of motivation;
  • your curriculum vitae;
  • the names, telephone numbers, and email ad dresses of at least two references;
  • a copy of your Master’s degree, or a letter from your university stating when your degree will be issued.

If this specific opportunity isn’t for you, but you know someone who may be interested, please forward this vacancy to them.

Some connections are fundamental. Be one of them.

Make sure to apply no later than 13 Feb 2023 23:59 (Europe/Amsterdam).