KU Leuven

PhD Position in Medicinal Chemistry (Organic chemist with a passion for molecular modelling)

2024-07-31 (Europe/Brussels)
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KU Leuven is an autonomous university. It was founded in 1425. It was born of and has grown within the Catholic tradition.

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The Verwilst Lab is part of the Medicinal Chemistry group, located in the prestigious Rega Institute for Medical Research, and is part of the Department of Pharmaceutical and Pharmacological Sciences at the KU Leuven. KU Leuven, established in 1425, ranks number 44 on the Times Higher Education list. Moreover, according to the Reuters ranking, it is the most innovative university in Europe for the 4th year in a row.
The lab hosts a young, dynamic team of researchers specialized in synthetic chemistry with a focus on developing novel heterocyclic drug candidates.

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Project

C-C chemokine receptor type 5 (CCR5)-mediated signalling facilitates chemotaxis of immune cells. While it is infamously recognized as one of the two co-receptors enabling HIV entry, the detrimental influence of unbalanced CCR5 signalling is observed in a range of other conditions as well, encompassing graft-versus-host disease, cancer metastasis, and additional immune-related diseases. 
Currently only maraviroc has been approved as an extracellular CCR5 blocker, but this drug suffers from drawbacks, most notoriously hepatotoxicity. As a potential solution to overcome these drawbacks, the research lab has previously identified allosteric inhibitors, interacting with CCR5 on the intracellular side.
In this project the aim is to identify additional scaffolds that interact with CCR5 at this intracellular side, and further develop them into novel potent and selective CCR5 signalling inhibitors.  
The responsibilities of the PhD student will be the following:
  • Identification of novel hit material through virtual screening and molecular dynamics simulations
  • Chemical synthesis of libraries of potential inhibitors based on hits
  • Performing SAR analysis and guiding molecular design strategies to optimize the most interesting compound classes

Profile

  • We are looking for a highly driven candidate with a team player spirit
  • Candidates must be able to perform research while adhering to the highest standards and integrity, work accurately and meet timelines
  • Candidates must hold a Master’s degree in Chemistry, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Biological/Chemical Engineering or a related field
  • Prior extensive experience in synthetic organic chemistry is a must
  • Prior experience with a commercial molecular modelling software package (MOE, Schrödinger, …) is a strong plus
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills and proficiency in English are required
  • Communication skills in Dutch are not required but are a plus
We would like to strongly encourage candidates with demonstrable skills in both molecular modelling and organic synthesis to apply for this position.

Offer

We offer a fully funded 4-year PhD student position, in a dynamic scientific environment, at a top international university. 
The starting date is flexible and will be agreed upon between candidate and promoter, but the aim is to start no later than November 1, 2024.

Interested?

For more information please contact Prof. dr. Peter Verwilst, mail: peter.verwilst@kuleuven.be. All final applications must be made through the KU Leuven job portal. 

KU Leuven strives for an inclusive, respectful and socially safe environment. We embrace diversity among individuals and groups as an asset. Open dialogue and differences in perspective are essential for an ambitious research and educational environment. In our commitment to equal opportunity, we recognize the consequences of historical inequalities. We do not accept any form of discrimination based on, but not limited to, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, age, ethnic or national background, skin colour, religious and philosophical diversity, neurodivergence, employment disability, health, or socioeconomic status. For questions about accessibility or support offered, we are happy to assist you at this email address.

Dettagli del lavoro

Titolo
PhD Position in Medicinal Chemistry (Organic chemist with a passion for molecular modelling)
Datore di lavoro
Sede
Oude Markt 13 Lovanio, Belgio
Pubblicato
2024-06-03
Scadenza candidatura
2024-07-31 23:59 (Europe/Brussels)
2024-07-31 23:59 (CET)
Tipo di lavoro
Salva lavoro

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Informazioni sul datore di lavoro

KU Leuven is an autonomous university. It was founded in 1425. It was born of and has grown within the Catholic tradition.

Visita la pagina del datore di lavoro