Job offers

PhD position in liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry

Recent studies in the field of proteomics have demonstrated that over 80% of proteins exert their function as part of larger assemblies. Interactions between biomolecules have proven to be critical for all levels of cellular function, and hence affect physiological function. Hence, the possibility to identify protein-interaction networks involved in cell regulation provides new opportunities to detect and treat diseases, as new drug targets allowing regulation of multi-protein complexes involved in cell signaling can be developed

The PhD project aims at realizing novel comprehensive multi-dimensional-dimensional liquid-chromatography workflows that maintain protein conformation during analysis, allowing for unprecedented separations, targeting profiling and regulation of biomolecular-interactions networks.

The key objectives are:

  • Development and performance characterization of novel polymer-monolithic column technologies for high-resolution protein separations, maintaining protein 3D conformation (and biological activity) during analysis.
  • Establishing native high-resolution 1D-LC-MS methods (HIC, IEX, and SEC) by hyphenation of the capillary column technology directly to (ion-mobility) mass spectrometry.
  • Development of comprehensive two- and three-dimensional LC workflows protocols for unravelling of biomolecular interaction networks, i.e. to acquire more accurate information on the chemical composition of biomolecule assemblies directly in contemporary life-science matrices.

Results will be presented at conferences and published in international journals. The PhD student is expected to complete the PhD thesis within 4 years. In addition, the PhD student will contribute to the education program of the university.
A 6 months research internship is foreseen in the Biomolecular Analysis/ Analytical Chemistry group at the VU University (Amsterdam, NL) of Professor G.W Somsen.

Admission requirements:

  • MSc degree in the field of (analytical) chemistry.
  • Strong background and interest in separation science, mass spectrometry, and life-science research.
  • Very good knowledge in spoken and written English.

Duration: 4 years.

Closing date for application is 31st of January 2018.

Interested?
Please send you application letter, including your motivation to apply, curriculum vitae, grade list, and two letters of recommendation by email to: Prof. Dr. S. Eeltink (seeltink@vub.be).

All details can be found in the following document: PhD position in liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry

Posted online on December 13th, 2017.

 

PhD position in Analytical Chemistry / Multi-Dimensional Liquid Chromatography

Multi-dimensional LC methods are especially suitable for the characterization of macromolecules, such as (bio-)polymers and proteins. The PhD project aims at realizing a novel microfluidic modulator chip containing parallel trap segments for sample transfer between columns in a 2D-LC set-up. Such high-tech modulator chip allows to decouple the separations in different dimensions, with the aim to alleviate constraints and allow optimal conditions in each dimension independently. To enhance the detection sensitivity and extent the possible column combinations the incorporation of nested monolithic nanomaterials in the trap segments will be pursued. Furthermore, to mediate the content of organic modifier in the mobile phase, the functionality of the mixer can be enhanced by adding a mixer on-chip. In a later stage, enzymatic microreactors modulator chips will be created for the top-down analysis of biotherapeutics.

Results will be presented at conferences and published in international journals. The PhD student is expected to complete the PhD thesis within 4 years. In addition, the PhD student will contribute to the education program of the university. A research internship is foreseen in the Analytical Chemistry group at the University of Amsterdam of Professor P.J. Schoenmakers

Admission requirements:

  • MSc degree in the field of (Bio)-Analytical Chemistry.
  • Strong background and interest in separation science, and life-science research.
  • Strong interest in chip technology.
  • Very good knowledge in spoken and written English.

Duration: 4 years.

Closing date for application is 31st of January 2018.

Interested?
Please send you application letter including your motivation, your CV and grade list, and two letters of recommendation by email to: Prof. Dr. S. Eeltink (seeltink@vub.be).
All details can be found in the following document: PhD in Analytical Chemistry / Multi-Dimensional Liquid Chromatography

Posted online on December 13th, 2017.

 

PhD position (m/f) in microfluidics

The PhD student will be working in the Eeltink research group in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. The main research themes of the Eeltink group are i) Advancing fundamentals of separation science, ii) design and development of functionalized monolithic nanomaterials, iii) Realizing novel concepts via microfluidic solutions, and iv) Developing UHPLCn-MS/MS workflows in support of post-genomic biotechnology and medical diagnostics.

The main task will be to conduct research developing microfluidic solutions for spatial 3D-LC. Results will be presented at conferences and published in international journals. The PhD student is expected to complete the PhD thesis within 4 years. In addition, the PhD student will contribute to the education program of the university.

Duration: 4y

Closing date for application is 8th of January 2018

All details can be found in the following document: PhD in microfluidics.

Posted online on December 1st, 2017.

 

Phd: Electroosmotic Mixing In Microfluidic Devices

Duration: 4y

Start: 1/11/17 (+ max. 3 months)

Mass transfer limitations put constraints on the attainable throughput of reactors, the speed and efficiency of chromatographic devices, etc. In this project, which is supported by an ERC starting grant, electroosmotic flow is employed to enhance mass transfer and concomitantly increase the efficiency of several unit operations in microfluidic devices. The research will take place predominantly at the Free University of Brussels (supervision of Prof. Wim De Malsche) and in close in interaction (with min. 25 % research stays) with the Mesa+ Institute for Nanotechnology in Enschede, The Netherlands (supervision by Prof. Jan Eijkel).

Job description

Your work will have both an experimental and a modeling character. You will experimentally study the electrical properties of modified silicon surfaces and the impact on electroosmotic flow behavior and mass transfer. Based on insights that you will gain, you will be able to generate unique flow profiles in confined spaces, capable of enhancing mass transfer and minimizing dispersion. You will study the achievable flow configurations both by computational fluid dynamics and electrochemical simulations as well as experimentally with a microscopy setup and in-house developed 3D detection device. You will study devices that have been fabricated in a state-of-the art cleanroom on setups that you will help to develop und improve. You will also be involved in the demonstration of proof-of-concepts of improved efficiencies in miniaturized reactors and diagnostic devices. This dynamic atmosphere will enable you to make important contributions on both the fundamental physics side as on the application side.

Your profile

You have a master in physics, electrical or biomedical engineering and you are interested in multiphysics modeling and microfluidics. You are skilled in Matlab and interfacing and automation of instruments. Knowledge of acoustics, heat transfer and catalysis is a plus. You are creative, are comfortable with both experimental and theoretical work, can function independently and are willing to travel frequently between The Netherlands and Belgium. We expect the candidate to have excellent command of the English language as well as professional communication and presentation skills. Interested? Contact Prof. Wim De Malsche (wdemalsc@vub.ac.be) or Prof. Jan Eijkel (j.c.t.eijkel@utwente.nl)

Posted online on September 20th, 2017.

Postdoctoral Researcher in Pressure Swing Adsorption

Project description:

The adsorption team of the Department of Chemical Engineering (Prof. J. Denayer) at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (http://vubchemicalengineering.be) aims at the development of better and sustainable separation processes. In the present project, an industrial Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) process is optimized. A fully equipped 2-bed pilot PSA unit is available in the research unit, allowing to obtain very accurate data for the cyclic separation process. In this project, pilot plant tests will be combined with detailed modeling of the PSA process to achieve an improvement of process performance in terms of power consumption, productivity etc. Besides, a full characterization of the adsorption properties of the materials used in this separation will be carried out via a range of experimental methods (gravimetry, volumetry, calorimetry, porosimetry,…) available in the research group.

Requirements:

Preferably, the candidate owns a PhD Degree in Chemical Engineering and a doctor’s degree in adsorption. Experience in modeling of Pressure Swing Adsorption and/or Temperature Swing Adsorption and/or Simulated Moving Bed is a plus.

Start date:

September 2018.

All details can be found in the following document: Postdoctoral Researcher in Pressure Swing Adsorption.
Posted online on June 2nd, 2017.

 

 

PhD and post-doc: Spontaneous applications

Spontaneous applications are always welcomed and reviewed with interest.

We offer a young, dynamic and stimulating work environment, contacts and collaboration with leading research groups and companies, the possibility to present research results at international conferences, and extra-legal benefits such as free public transport, biking fee for work traffic, use of sports facilities and student restaurant at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel.
The research areas within our research group can be found on this website, so feel free to check them out.


Profile for PhD: Preferably, you own a Master Degree in (Chemical) Engineering, Chemistry or Bio-engineering. You have the intention to work towards a PhD and you fulfill the requirements to subscribe as a doctoral student. You are able to work independently and accurately. You can work together with other people and have good communicative skills (written and oral). You have a good knowledge of English, good knowledge of Dutch is a plus.


Profile for post-doc: Preferably, you own a PhD in (Chemical) Engineering, Chemistry or Bio-engineering. You have the necessary skills and expertise to work in the department’s research areas. You are able to work independently and accurately. You can work together with other people and when necessary guide fellow researchers in the research topic. You have good communicative skills (written and oral). You have a good knowledge of English, good knowledge of Dutch is a plus.


Application and contact: According to the desired research topic, the candidates should contact the relevant lead scientist (check the names under academic staff here and under the research area descriptions here).