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PhD scholarship in Nanodrugs for the Treatment of Diabetic Retinopathy

Danmarks Tekniske Universitet (DTU)

Frist 31. august 2020

A PhD studentship is available in the development of biologic loaded nanodrugs for the treatment of diabetic retinopathy. The PhD studentship will be in the ocular drug delivery group at the Department of Health Technology (DTU Health Tech), Technical University of Denmark (DTU).

Diabetic retinopathy (DR) results in a progressive deterioration of the inner retina leading to irreversible vision loss. DR remains challenging to treat and many patients do not respond to current therapies. DR is associated with a breakdown in inner blood-retina barrier (iBRB) function which is critical for the maintenance of a healthy retina. In this Independent Research Fund Denmark funded project, we will develop a protein (biologic) loaded nanodrug that targets the endothelial cells of the iBRB, directly delivers the cytoprotective biologic to these diseased cells and exploits receptor-mediated endosomal transport in endothelial cells to maximise biologic efficacy. New therapeutics that protect healthy iBRB function will make a substantial impact in the effective treatment of DR.

Responsibilities and tasks

The candidate will work as part of the ocular drug delivery group and external collaborators Rigshospitalet, the University of Copenhagen and the Schepens Eye Research Institute. Willingness to work across scientific disciplines in an international environment is essential. The successful applicants must demonstrate the following:

  • A strong background at Masters degree level in the life sciences or related areas (e.g. pharmacy, biological chemistry, cell biology, molecular biology, biomaterials, bionanotechnology, biophysics etc.). Experience of relevant physical sciences (e.g. synthetic chemistry, analytical chemistry etc.) is a bonus but not essential.
  • The ability to work both independently and in a team within interdisciplinary fields.
  • A high degree of personal motivation.
  • Creative and critical thinking skills.
  • Excellent communication skills in English (oral and written).

The candidate will have the following responsibilities/tasks:

  • Learn to and conduct research at a high international level independently and within a team.
  • Conduct themselves in a professional manner.
  • Follow research plans to achieve major and minor goals linked to the project’s aims.
  • Disseminate their research and help support teaching activities associated with drug delivery.

The PhD candidate should be able to start at the latest by 1 November 2020.

Candidates should have a two-year master's degree (120 ECTS points) or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to a two-year master's degree.

Approval and Enrolment

The scholarship for the PhD degree is subject to academic approval, and the candidate will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes at DTU. For information about our enrolment requirements and the general planning of the PhD study programme, please see the DTU PhD Guide.


The assessment of the applicants will be made by Associate Professor Andrew Urquhart.

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 academic freedom tempered by responsibility.

Salary and appointment terms

The appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed upon with the relevant union. The period of employment is 3 years.

The student will be based at DTU Health technology, DTU Lyngby Campus

You can read more about career paths at DTU here.

Further information

Further information may be obtained from Associate Professor Andrew Urquhart, email: anur@dtu.dk; tel: +45 4525 8169.


ou can read more about the DTU Health Tech at www.healthtech.dtu.dk and the ocular drug delivery group www.healthtech.dtu.dk/forskning/biopharma/section-biotherapeutic-engineering-and-drug-targeting/group-odd.


Please submit your online application no later than 31 August 2020 (local time).

Applications must be submitted as one PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply online", fill out 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)

Applications and enclosures received after the deadline will not be considered.

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.

DTU Health Tech engages in research, education, and innovation base on technical and natural science for the healthcare sector. The Healthcare sector is a globally expanding market with demands for the most advanced technological solutions. DTU Health Tech creates the foundation for companies to develop new and innovative services and products which benefit people and create value for society. DTU Health Techs expertise spans from imaging and biosensor techniques, across digital health and biological modelling, to biopharma technologies. The department has a scientific staff of about 175 persons, 130 PhD students and a technical/administrative support staff of about 80 persons.

Technology for people
DTU develops technology for people. With our international elite research and study programmes, we are helping to create a better world and to solve the global challenges formulated in the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Hans Christian Ørsted founded DTU in 1829 with a clear vision to develop and create value using science and engineering to benefit society. That vision lives on today. DTU has 11,500 students and 6,000 employees. We work in an international atmosphere and have an inclusive, evolving, and informal working environment. Our main campus is in Kgs. Lyngby north of Copenhagen and we have campuses in Roskilde and Ballerup and in Sisimiut in Greenland.

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Danmarks Tekniske Universitet (DTU) - hurtigt overblik

Danmarks Tekniske Universitet (DTU)
Danmarks Tekniske Universitet (DTU)
DTU er et teknisk eliteuniversitet med international rækkevidde og standard. Vores mission er at udvikle og nyttiggøre naturvidenskab og teknisk videnskab til gavn for samfundet. 11.200 studerende uddanner sig her til fremtiden, og 6.000 medarbejdere har hver dag fokus på uddannelse, forskning, myndighedsrådgivning og innovation, som bidrager til øget vækst og velfærd.

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