Background & Project Goal

Monoclonal antibodies are the majority of pharmaceutical blockbuster molecules that are produced by Chinese Hamster Ovary (CHO cells. The quality and efficacy of the antibodies are highly affected by cell culture conditions. Therefore a comprehensive process understanding is required. Hence, the relationship between process parameters and product quality has to be explored. Industrial good practice is the direct correlation, however, still, process variabilities still lead to batch failure due to insufficient product quality.

This prestigious project of DigitherapeutX, a new Research Group of the FWF, will do it differently. We will follow a holistic sound science approach. On the one hand, we will include highly time resolved analysis of the product quality attributes, such as glycosylation profile as well as metabolomics and proteomics. On the other, we will fuse the process understanding in a digital twin to capture and deploy the knowledge for process control.

The goal of this PhD project is therefore to contribute to provide a better understanding of CHO cultures’ control by applying novel experimental design and process analytics in our new cell culture lab! With the data in hand a digital twin process model will be assembled, in which development you can take part.


Master in Bioprocess Technology, Biotechnology, Process Engineering, Life Sciences, etc.

You should have:

  • Experience in bioprocess technology of cell cultures and corresponding analytics
  • Ability to set up, run and maintain cell culture environments from preculture to bench-top bioreactor level
  • Experience in experimental design, process analytics and data analysis (Matlab or Python is an advantage)
  • Team player with excellent communication skills
  • Fluency in spoken and written English, German is beneficial

Time-frame & Salary

The monthly minimum wage is currently € 2’237,- (14x per year), before tax at a 30 h/week employment. Applicants have no claim for reimbursement of travel costs arising from the recording process. The university aims to increase the proportion of women especially in scientific personnel and encourages qualified women to apply.

This PhD position starts on April 1st, 2022 and is scheduled for 3 years.

We are looking forward to your application!