PhD Scholarship in Synthesis of natural product-derived compound collections for phenotypic screening

DTU Chemistry
Thursday 23 Nov 17

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Apply no later than 29 December 2017
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A 3-year PhD scholarship in synthetic organic chemistry funded by the DTU is available at the Department of Chemistry. The project will be under supervision of Luca Laraia and will start on April 1st or as soon as possible thereafter. The successful candidate will join a newly established, young research team, which is a part of the Chemical Biology group.
Project Description
Natural products and their derivatives have been and remain a rich source of bioactive compounds. Most chemical modifications around a natural product scaffold are typically carried out at the periphery, at preexisting reactive sites. However the great potential that lies in the modification of the core scaffold, as well as the fusion of diverse natural product scaffolds, has been poorly explored. The successful candidate will create new biologically relevant scaffolds comprising elements of different natural product classes, with a particular focus on sterols. These will be employed in phenotypic and target based screens to assess their potential as new leads or tool compounds in drug discovery. There is a possibility for the successful candidate to carry out biological testing in-house or with our collaborators.
The successful candidate should have a Master’s degree in chemistry with prior experience in synthetic organic chemistry, including standard characterization methods. Experience in working with natural products would be an advantage but is not essential. Most importantly, the candidate should be highly motivated, able to work independently and should be confident in both written and spoken English. The applicant should strive towards scientific excellence, be ambitious and hard working.
Approval and Enrolment
The scholarships for the PhD degree are subject to academic approval, and the candidates will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes of DTU. For information about the general requirements for enrolment and the general planning of the scholarship studies, please see the DTU PhD Guide.
We offer
DTU is a leading technical university globally recognized for the excellence of its research, education, innovation and scientific advice. We offer a rewarding and challenging job in an international environment. We strive for academic excellence in an environment characterized by collegial respect and an academic freedom tempered by responsibility.

Salary and appointment terms
The salary and appointment terms are following the current rules for PhD degree students. The period of employment for a PhD student is 3 years.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here.
Further information
Further questions about the project should be directed to Luca Laraia, email: or the Head of Organic and Inorganic Chemistry Section, Professor Jens Ø. Duus, email:
Please do not send applications to this e-mail address, instead apply online as described below.
Please submit your online application no later than 29 December 2017.
Applications must be submitted as one pdf file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply online," fill in the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one pdf file. The file must include:

  • A letter motivating the application (cover letter)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma
  • Excel sheet with translation of grades to the Danish grading system (see guidelines and excel spreadsheet here)
Candidates may apply prior to obtaining their master's degree, but cannot begin before having received it.
All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.

DTU is a technical university providing internationally leading research, education, innovation and scientific advice. Our staff of 5,800 advance science and technology to create innovative solutions that meet the demands of society; and our 11,000 students are being educated to address the technological challenges of the future. DTU is an independent academic university collaborating globally with business, industry, government, and public agencies.