Postdoc in Medicinal Chemistry at the Department of Drug Design and Pharmacology

Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences
University of Copenhagen

We are looking for a highly motivated and dynamic postdoc for a 18 months position commencing 1 March 2024 or as soon as possible hereafter. The successful candidate will develop novel on-demand turn-on fluorophores for image guide surgery purposes based on bioorthogonal chemistry. The novel probes will be synthesized via modern medicinal chemistry approaches using for example rational drug design. The probes will be radiolabelled with fluorine-18 to facilitate in vivo evaluations before the on-demand turn-on fluorophores will be evaluated for image guide surgery in collaboration with Prof. Andreas Kjær´s lab.

Our research
The Herth group´s research focusses on the development of pretargeted strategies based on the tetrazine ligation. The group consist currently of 10 members (4 PostDocs, 3 PhDs, and 3 Master students).

Your job
On-demand fluorophore activation is a tool in chemical biology for investigating subcellular structures and dynamics. The tetrazine (Tz) ligation has become a staple in this regard due to its rapid kinetics and high turn-on ratios. This is achieved by utilizing Förster resonance energy transfer-based quenching from the fluorophores to the Tz moiety, which is lost upon the ligation. Due to the inherent properties of the Tz, a rapid drop-off in turn-on ratios for redshifted fluorophores with emission wavelengths of > 710 nm was observed. This makes Tzs unsuitable for quenching fluorophores in the near infrared region (NIR) (> 800 nm). As these wavelengths have typically to be used in vivo to achieve sufficient tissue penetration, this leaves a huge gap in translating this concept into humans. The aim of this project is to overcome these limitations and develop an instant click and release Tz, which lead to unprecedented turn-on ratios for NIR-dyes. The successful candidate will synthesize and characterise these probes, radiolabel them and provide respective agents for evaluation purposes to Prof. Andreas Kjær´s lab.

We are looking for a highly motivated and enthusiastic scientist with the following competencies and experience:

Essential experience and skills:

  • You have a PhD in medicinal chemistry, organic chemistry or radiopharmaceutical chemistry
  • You are highly experienced in medicinal chemistry approaches and organic synthesis
  • You have an active interest in click chemistry and their in vivo applications
  • Proficient communication skills and ability to work in teams
  • Excellent English skills written and spoken

Desirable experience and skills:

  • Knowledge about tetrazine based click chemistry
  • Experience in radiopharmaceutical chemistry

Place of employment
The place of employment is at the Department of Drug Design and Pharmacology, University of Copenhagen. We offer creative and stimulating working conditions in dynamic and international research environment. Our research facilities include modern laboratories and imaging facilities.

Terms of employment
The average weekly working hours are 37 hours per week.

The position is a fixed-term position limited to a period of 18 months. The starting date is 1 March 2024  or as soon as possible hereafter.

Salary, pension and other conditions of employment are set in accordance with the Agreement between the Ministry of Taxation and AC (Danish Confederation of Professional Associations) or other relevant organisation. Currently, the monthly salary starts at 36,400 DKK/approx. 4,870 EUR (October 2023 level). Depending on qualifications, a supplement may be negotiated. The employer will pay an additional 17.1 % to your pension fund.

Foreign and Danish applicants may be eligible for tax reductions, if they hold a PhD degree and have not lived in Denmark the last 10 years.

The position is covered by the Job Structure for Academic Staff at Universities 2020.

For further information please contact Assoc. Prof. Matthias Herth;;

Application procedure
Your online application must be submitted in English by clicking ‘Apply now’ below. Furthermore, your application must include the following documents/attachments – all in PDF format:

  1. Motivated letter of application (max. one page).
  2. CV incl. education, work/research experience, language skills and other skills relevant for the position.
  3. A certified/signed copy of a) PhD certificate and b) Master of Science certificate. If the PhD is not completed, a written statement from the supervisor will do.
  4. List of publications.

Deadline for applications: 6 December 2023, 23.59pm CET

We reserve the right not to consider material received after the deadline, and not to consider applications that do not live up to the abovementioned requirements.

The further process
After the expiry of the deadline for applications, the authorized recruitment manager selects applicants for assessment on the advice of the hiring committee. All applicants are then immediately notified whether their application has been passed for assessment by an unbiased assessor. Once the assessment work has been completed each applicant has the opportunity to comment on the part of the assessment that relates to the applicant him/herself.

You can read about the recruitment process at

The applicant will be assessed according to the Ministerial Order no. 242 of 13 March 2012 on the Appointment of Academic Staff at Universities.

The University of Copenhagen wish to reflect the diversity of society and encourage all qualified candidates to apply regardless of personal background.


Part of the International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU), and among Europe’s top-ranking universities, the University of Copenhagen promotes research and teaching of the highest international standard. Rich in tradition and modern in outlook, the University gives students and staff the opportunity to cultivate their talent in an ambitious and informal environment. An effective organisation – with good working conditions and a collaborative work culture – creates the ideal framework for a successful academic career.


Matthias Manfred Herth


Application deadline: 06-12-2023
Employment start: 01-03-2024
Working hours: Full time
Department/Location: Department of Drug Design and Pharmacology
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