PhD in chemical biology of glycans and glycoconjugates

PhD in chemical biology of glycans and glycoconjugates

Published Deadline Location
5 Mar 15 Apr Utrecht

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Do you want to unravel the roles of glycans in health and disease using a wide range of methods? Keep reading and apply.

Job description

An exciting opportunity to combine organic and biological chemistry to synthesise exceptional complex glycans and glycoconjugates to unravel their involvement in infectious diseases and immunological responses.

Your job
This ERC-supported project aims to develop chemical and chemo-enzymatic methodologies for the synthesis of glycans and glyco-conjugates of unprecedented complexity. The resulting compounds will be employed to develop an integrated technological platform that can unravel how glycans encode information. The synthetic glycans will be used for array development to study protein-glycan binding. Bio-orthogonal (click) methods will be developed to attach synthetic glycans onto the surface of cells for gain-of-function studies. The project will focus on the involvement of complex glycans in infectious disease and immunology.

We are embarking on an exciting multidisciplinary project and seek a creative and passionate scientist to join us. You will use chemical and enzymatic synthesis, combined with biological experiments, to unravel the roles of glycans in health and disease. It will include the use of a wide range of methods to purify and characterise complex synthetic compounds including advances NMR and mass spectrometric approaches.


Utrecht University


We are looking for a candidate who brings the following skills and qualifications:
  • a completed MSc degree in chemical biology or organic chemistry with a focus on the preparation of complex biological compounds;
  • experience with biological techniques (this is a plus);
  • great enthousiasm for science and a willingness to help build a social and productive laboratory environment;
  • a good level of spoken and written English language skills.

Showing initiative, openness to collaborations, a proactive approach, and a solution-based mindset are all important for addressing research questions, so these are qualities we celebrate in a candidate.

Conditions of employment

We offer:
  • a position for four years;
  • a working week of 40 hours and a gross monthly salary between €2,770 and €3,539 in the case of full-time employment (salary scale P under the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities (CAO NU));
  • 8% holiday pay and 8.3% year-end bonus;
  • a pension scheme, partially paid parental leave and flexible terms of employment based on the CAO NU.

In addition to the terms of employment laid down in the CAO NU, Utrecht University has a number of schemes and facilities of its own for employees. This includes schemes facilitating professional development, leave schemes and schemes for sports and cultural activities, as well as discounts on software and other IT products. We also offer access to additional employee benefits through our Terms of Employment Options Model. In this way, we encourage our employees to continue to invest in their growth. For more information, please visit Working at Utrecht University.


Universiteit Utrecht

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 strategic themes. Our focus is on Dynamics of Youth, Institutions for Open Societies, Life Sciences and Pathways to Sustainability. Sharing science, shaping tomorrow.

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 challenges. More fundamental still are the individual research groups – the building blocks of our ambitious scientific projects.

The Department of Chemical Biology and Drug Discovery (CBDD) focuses on the design, chemo- or biosynthesis of compounds with biological or potentially medicinal properties and interaction with their receptors. Insights thus obtained can lead to new bio-active compounds and approaches for the treatment of diseases with unmet medical needs. We are interested in answering questions related to understanding as well as influencing carbohydrate-protein, peptide-protein, and protein-protein interactions that underlie infections, immunological and neurological disorders. The development of new synthetic methodologies for the preparation of complex biomolecules is an important goal of the division. CBDD provides a highly multidisciplinary environment and has the-state-of-the-art facilities such as high field NMR spectrometers, mass spectroscopy and equipment for biophysical and cell biological studies. CBDD is part of the Utrecht Institute for Pharmaceutical Sciences, as well as the Bijvoet Centre for Biomolecular Research.


  • PhD
  • Natural sciences
  • 36—40 hours per week
  • €2770—€3539 per month
  • University graduate
  • 3696



Universiteitsweg 99, 3584CG, Utrecht

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