University of Duisburg-Essen (UDE)


University of Duisburg-Essen (UDE)

Essen, Germany

Post-doctoral fellowship in DNA nanotechnology

A post-doctoral fellowship is available in the Saccà laboratory for Bionanotechnology at the Center for Medical Biotechnology of the University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany.

The project belongs to a large initiative including different research groups of the University of Duisburg-Essen, whose final goal is to establish a novel approach for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. The proposed methodology combines expertise from DNA nanotechnology, immunology and nanochemistry to address a long-standing key challenge in biomedicine and oncology: the selective targeting of functionally specialized cell subsets and their subsequent local elimination. To achieve this ambitious goal, we propose a highly risky and interdisciplinary approach that combines antibody-based target binding, DNA logic-gate selectivity and photothermal therapy with custom-made gold nanorods. The idea is to provide a completely new tool box of programmable molecular agents for the identification and local therapeutic elimination of any desired cellular subset in the tumor microenvironment.

Work tasks
The successful candidate will design, construct and analyze DNA logic-gates that are capable to recognize cell surface motifs and translate them into an optical signal for further identification and targeting of the selected cells. The structures will be generated by advanced bioinformatic tools and tested for their in-vitro performance using modern spectroscopic techniques. Cell studies will be carried out employing high-resolution atomic force and fluorescence microscopy. The project is highly interdisciplinary and, despite its major focus will be on DNA nanotechnology, the candidate will work in close collaboration with our cooperation partners from the University Hospital and Physical Chemistry department.


  • a recent PhD degree in Chemistry, Biology, Physics or related disciplines.
  • strong hands-on experience in biochemistry, spectroscopic analysis and DNA-conjugation chemistry
  • working independence, high productivity and efficiency
  • good communication skills and team work attitude
  • bioinformatic skills are desirable, although not necessarily required

Financial source: Stiftung Deutsche Krebshilfe
Period: 24 months (extendable to 36 months)
Amount of scholarship: 13 TV-L (according to German salary scale)
Location: Essen (Germany)

Please apply to this position by email to

Your application should include the following documents:

  • Cover letter (detailing both your previous scientific work experience and your interest in this position)
  • Curriculum vita (including Bachelor, Master and PhD final grades)
  • Contact information and preferably recommendation letter from two references
  • A copy of your PhD degree
  • A copy of any additional certificate that may provide useful information on your suitability to the position (language and other specialized courses …)

Deadline for application is 31.03.2020

Barbara Saccà, Associate Professor
ZMB – University of Duisburg-Essen
Universitätstr. 2
45117 Essen



Apply with CV and Cover Letter

Must be a .doc, .docx, or .pdf file and no larger than 1MBMust be a .doc, .docx, or .pdf file and no larger than 1MB