ESR position 6 – Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing

Multiplex assay platforms based on color-coded core/fluorescent MIP shell composite particles

Host Institute

Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM), Berlin

Host Country


Start date

During the period May 1st 2017 – July 1st 2017

The candidate will be employed at the Chemical and Optical Sensing Division, headed by Knut Rurack, in the Department Analytical Chemistry; Reference Materials at the Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM), Berlin and will be enrolled at Humboldt University Berlin.

Project description

A major challenge in the war against cancer is to find ways to diagnose and treat the disease at an early stage where the cancer is still curable. This calls for sensitive and effective diagnostic tools that can sense the cellular state early in the process.  In this project you will develop and test multiplex assay platforms sensitive to protein posttranslational modifications (phosphorylations or glycosylations) or to specific proteinaceous cancer biomarkers.  You will join the Chemical and Optical Sensing Division at BAM to develop flow cytometric, chip- and 3D-type microfluidic devices for the analysis of barcoded MIP particles with fluorescent reporter groups for fluorescent multiplex assays. Assay design and adaption will be carried out in close connection with ESR5. Design-engineering of the components for interfacing fluidics to subsequent MS-based detection will also be part of your work. We expect your work to result in a new-generation of assays for biomarker detection in modification specific proteomics.

The project will include secondments to Lund University (Sweden) – µ-analytical systems; Malmö University (Sweden) – molecular imprinting technology; Linneaus University (Sweden) and Pavia University (Italy) – theoretical modeling and characterization, Cancer Research UK Manchester (UK), Proteome Sciences, London (UK) –biomarker assays.  The secondments will allow you to work with and oversee the implementation of the materials and to gain insight into academic and industrial work environments.

Apart from carrying out research within these areas the applicant is expected to supervise students at the BSc or MSc level. Conducting your research at BAM entails working in a metrological context, being able to witness the entire production chain from fundamental research to validated technology transfer. Within the long-established bonds between BAM and Humboldt University Berlin (HUB), e.g., manifested in the Graduate School SALSA (School of Analytical Sciences Adlershof), funded by the German Government’s Excellence Initiative, the candidate will be expected to graduate with a PhD from HUB in Chemistry, the university awarding doctoral certificates in the Natural Sciences.

Group description

The Chemical and Optical Sensing Division at BAM develops chemical sensors, microfluidic systems as well as optical and mass-spectrometric methods. Our research focuses on the sensitive and selective detection of organic, inorganic and biochemical species. Relying on fundamental theoretical as well as applied experimental knowledge, we integrate chemical particle- or thin film-based probes with miniaturized or hyphenated instrumentation, utilizing diverse techniques such as fluorescence, Raman, laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy or atmospheric pressure mass spectrometry for indication and quantification.

The Division is located at BAM’s Campus in Berlin-Adlershof, which itself is part of the City of Science, Technology and Media, comprising of ten non-university research institutes, six Natural Sciences Departments of Humboldt University and ca. 1,000 SMEs with more than 20,000 people working and studying there. Four of the six major research and production foci in the area match well with different aspects of the BioCapture project, i.e., photonics and optics, microsystems and materials, biotechnology and environment and analytics. The Division is well integrated into this research, development and application network.

Institute description

The mission of the Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM) is to deploy technology in a safe and environmentally friendly way. Our research, testing, approval and regulation activities are intended to promote safety in engineering and chemistry. As a higher federal authority and departmental research institution of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy (BMWi), with 1700 employees, we have national and international responsibilities, cooperate with universities and non-university research institutions and support young academics. With its headquarters and three branch offices, BAM is based in Germany’s capital Berlin.

Ideal candidate

The successful candidate will have a masters’ degree (or equivalent) in chemistry preferably analytical chemistry, physical chemistry, biochemistry or polymer chemistry. Experimental laboratory experience is required and candidates with experience directly related to the research topic of the position outlined above will be given preference.

Working conditions and benefits

The candidate will become an employee of BAM and receive a competitive monthly gross salary in accordance with the EC Marie Sklodowska-Curie rules. The contract period will last for 3 years.


For more information on this position, contact the hiring party: Dr. Knut Rurack

Phone: +49-30-8104 1190

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