Postdoctoral Researcher: Rapid MS-detection and characterization of variants of viral infections (1.0 fte)

  • Vacancy number- 23-045
  • Job type- Academic staff
  • Hours (in fte)- 1
  • External/ internal- External
  • Location- Leiden
  • Placed on- 11 May 2023
  • Closing date- 14 June 2023 23 more days to apply

The Faculty of Science, Leiden Academic Centre for Drug Research (LACDR) is looking for a

Postdoctoral Researcher: Rapid MS-detection and characterization of variants of viral infections (1.0 fte)

Job description

The Metabolomics and Analytics Center (MAC) seeks to hire a Postdoctoral Researcher for the rapid detection and characterization of SARS-CoV-2 infections. You will develop and validate a very high throughput screening MS/MS method for the analysis of thousands of samples taken at corona test locations or hospitals. Technologies used include rapid automated protein digestion (Agilent Bravo), SPE, SISCAPA peptide enrichment, fast chromatography and acoustic injection mass spectrometry (Sciex ECHO).  The analytical challenge posed by high-throughput metabolomics drives technological developments into the direction of more exhaustive analysis using smaller samples and shorter analysis times at a lower cost-per-sample. You will work towards setting up and managing a high-throughput, fully-automated modular proteomics/metabolomics workflow including sample preparation, sample delivery, and data acquisition. You will be part of a larger public-private project ‘Staying ahead of the virus’ and work together with other researchers at Leiden and various collaborators (analytical chemists, clinicians, public health, data analysis, computational scientists) to manage SARS-CoV-2 infections and other viral infections better. You can build on already existing methods and encouraging results and work with researchers to predict future variants and validate results in-vitro.

Key responsibilities

You will focus on 1) adapting our high-throughput MS^3 peptide method for the detection of known and emerging variants, and 2) following disease progression and predicting severity using high-throughput mass-spec based profiling; for the latter metabolites and peptides are candidates

You will be designing innovative analytical MS-based methods and programming the software interfaces between the modules, robots, and analytical equipment.

Selection criteria

  • PhD in analytical chemistry, chemical engineering, robotics, Biomedical Engineering or similar field,  
  • Experience in proteomics, protein digestion, peptide enrichment, peptide fragmentation
  • Experience in high throughput workflows
  • Interest in the field of metabolomics, programming, and microfluidics is desired.  
  • Proficient in programming (e.g. Python, R). 
  • Good to excellent proficiency in English is required. 

Our organization

The Faculty of Science is a world-class faculty where staff and students work together in a dynamic international environment. The LACDR is an international leading drug research institute. The Metabolomics & Analytics Centre  (MAC) has been a pioneer in Metabolomics since early 2000, and combines advanced metabolomics technologies, innovative sample preparation and robotics, and computational and FAIR digital twinning expertise’s. MAC is involved in many academic and industrial collaborations.  

Terms and conditions

We offer a full-time position for initially one year. After positive evaluation of the progress of the research, personal capabilities and compatibility the appointment can be extended further for one or three years. The salary ranges, depending on qualifications and experience, from € 2.960,- to € 4.670,- gross per month (pay scale 10 in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities), plus an attractive benefits package with additional holiday (8%) and end-of-year bonuses (8.3 %), training and career development.


Diversity and inclusion are core values of Leiden University. Leiden University is committed to becoming an inclusive community which enables all students and staff to feel valued and respected and to develop their full potential. Diversity in experiences and perspectives enriches our teaching and strengthens our research. High quality teaching and research is inclusive.


Enquiries can be made to Prof. dr. Thomas Hankemeier, e-mail:

If you have any questions about the procedure, please contact Mrs. Ina Hazejager (e-mail:, telephone: +31 71 527 4220).

Instructions for applications

To apply for this vacancy, please send an email to Prof. dr. Thomas Hankemeier; Please ensure that you upload the following additional documents quoting the vacancy number:

– letter of motivation;

– curriculum vitae;

Only applications received before 14 June 2023 can be considered.

Acquisition following this advertisement is not appreciated.