Postdoc Position in Bioanalytics on Developing Novel Snakebite Treatments
VU University of Amsterdam Division of Bio-Analytical Chemistry


FTE: 1

Job description

The Division of Bio-Analytical Chemistry of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam welcomes applications for a three-year Postdoctoral position in (bio)analytical and biochemical venom research towards developing novel snakebite treatments. The ideal candidate should exhibit strong affinity with state-of-the-art liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry approaches, in combination with expertise in bioassaying. The Postdoctoral position will be operating within a large international team funded by the Wellcome Trust on a project entitled: “Discovery and early translation of small molecule toxin inhibitors for use as broadly effective, inexpensive, oral, prehospital snakebite treatments”. Current snakebite therapies (biologic antivenoms) have a number of deficiencies that limit their safety, efficacy and rapid delivery in resource-poor settings. Small molecule toxin inhibitors show great potential for addressing these shortcomings, with recent proof-of-concept studies demonstrating their preclinical promise as orally effective pre-hospital treatments capable of providing rapid and generic efficacy against diverse toxin classes in venoms of medically important snakes. In this project, we seek to fully explore the chemical space available for the discovery of small molecule toxin inhibitors by undertaking the first comprehensive drug discovery programme for snakebite treatments.
The postdoc will be working on developing and applying bioanalytics and proteomics methodologies for rapid profiling and characterisation of snake venoms, on developing and applying high throughput screening (HTS) setups, and on in vitro bioassaying of neutralisation capabilities of snake venom pathologies by lead compounds discovered from HTS.
Preference will be given to candidates who can connect to existing research strengths in the department. The preferred starting date is September 1st of 2021.

The department has a strong desire to hire more female colleagues. Therefore, women are especially encouraged to apply.

Your duties

  • conducting analytical and biochemical research in the area of snake venom research and developing novel small molecular snake envenoming medicines (85%)
  • contributing to the teaching portfolio and getting involved in management duties within the Division of BioAnalytical Chemistry (15%)


  • a PhD in (bio)analytical chemistry, toxinology and/or pharmaceutical sciences with expertise in analytical chemistry techniques and bioassays
  • strong independent research skills
  • good communication skills in English

What are we offering?

A challenging position in a socially involved organization. On full-time basis the remuneration amounts to a minimum gross monthly salary of €2,790 (scale 10)
and a maximum €4,402 (scale 10), depending on your education and experience, You will start at scale 10.5: €3.491.
The job profile: (researcher level 4) is based on the university job ranking system and is vacant for at least 1 FTE.

The appointment will initially be for two years. After a satisfactory evaluation, the contract will be extended for another year. 

Additionally, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam offers excellent fringe benefits and various schemes and regulations to promote a good work/life balance, such as:

  • a maximum of 41 days of annual leave based on full-time employment
  • 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus
  • solid pension scheme (ABP)
  • contribution to commuting expenses
  • optional model for designing a personalized benefits package

About Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

The ambition of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is clear: to contribute to a better world through outstanding education and ground-breaking research. We strive to be a university where personal development and commitment to society play a leading role. A university where people from different disciplines and backgrounds collaborate to achieve innovations and to generate new knowledge. Our teaching and research encompass the entire spectrum of academic endeavour – from the humanities, the social sciences and the natural sciences through to the life sciences and the medical sciences.

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is home to more than 26,000 students. We employ over 4,600 individuals. The VU campus is easily accessible and located in the heart of Amsterdam’s Zuidas district, a truly inspiring environment for teaching and research.


We are an inclusive university community. Diversity is one of our most important values. We believe that engaging in international activities and welcoming students and staff from a wide variety of backgrounds enhances the quality of our education and research. We are always looking for people who can enrich our world with their own unique perspectives and experiences.

The Faculty of Science

The Faculty of Science inspires researchers and students to find sustainable solutions for complex societal issues. From forest fires to big data, from obesity to medicines and from molecules to the moon: our teaching and research programmes cover the full spectrum of the natural sciences. We share knowledge and experience with leading research institutes and industries, both here in the Netherlands and abroad.

Working at the Faculty of Science means working with students, PhD candidates and researchers, all with a clear focus on their field and a broad view of the world. We employ more than 1,250 staff members, and we are home to around 6,000 students.

About the division of BioAnalytical Chemistry

The Division of BioAnalytical Chemistry, BAC, is part of the Department of Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences of the Faculty of Science, and of AIMMS. The research at BAC focuses on the development and application of novel, multidimensional analytics for the molecular understanding of biological and chemical processes and the elucidation of biopharmaceutical and drug characteristics. Analytical techniques we use in the group are state-of-the-art mass spectrometry combined and/or integrated with molecular spectroscopy, high selective separation techniques such as HPLC and CE, and bioactivity detection. BAC also trains and educates students and young professionals at the highest international level in the area of analytical chemistry. PhD, MSc and BSc students actively and intensively participate in our research programs. We provide analytical courses in several BSc and MSc programs, such as Chemistry (in a joint degree with UvA), Pharmaceutical Sciences, Drug Discovery and Safety, and Medical Natural Sciences. For research and teaching, BAC strongly collaborates with the analytical-chemistry group of the University of Amsterdam (UvA) in the Center for Analytical Sciences Amsterdam (CASA).


Are you interested in this position? Please apply via the application button and upload: a cover letter in which you describe your motivation, a curriculum vitae, a research statement, and the names and e-mail addresses of three references, until April 1, 2021.

Applications received by e-mail will not be processed.

Vacancy questions
If you have any questions regarding this vacancy, you may contact:

Name: Jeroen Kool
Position: Associate professor of Integrated Bioactivity Profiling

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