Doctoral Researcher (f/m/d) - Mikrobielle Naturstoffe

Kennziffer: 25/2023


Mikrobielle Naturstoffe

The Helmholtz-Institute for Pharmaceutical Research Saarland (HIPS), Department Microbial Natural Products, is offering a position as Doctoral researcher in the field of drug discovery (m/f/d).


The Helmholtz Institute for Pharmaceutical Research Saarland (HIPS) focusses on identifying and developing new treatment options for infectious diseases with an emphasis on natural product research. Especially researchers in the department of Microbial Natural Products are aiming to identify, investigate and optimize novel natural product based actives, applying diverse approaches and methods mainly from the field of biotechnology, microbiology, molecular biology and biochemistry. HIPS was jointly started in August 2009 by the HZI in Braunschweig and Saarland University on Campus Saarbrücken. In 2015 HIPS moved into a new 4500 m2 research building in which currently 220 international employees work. HIPS represents the first and only publicly funded extra-university research unit in Germany dedicated to pharmaceutical research. The Institute collaborates with universities and various industries both nationally and internationally.

Your tasks:

A major research focus of the department Microbial Natural Products is the early pre-clinical profiling of biologically active natural products and to make these accessible for the development into novel antibiotic agents for human therapy. Optimization goals for natural product-based early hits are typically to increase their potency and to improve physico-chemical properties and ADMET (absorption, distribution, metabolism, excretion, toxicity) characteristics. You will work cross-disciplinary with a focus on characterizing drug metabolism and PK/PD (pharmacokinetics/pharmacodynamics) properties of new antibacterial agents. One pillar of this work is applying mass-spectrometry imaging (MSI) to drug-treated zebrafish larvae – the prime in vivo model used at HIPS – and to provide insights into the metabolism and distribution of test items. You will then complement data from MSI by establishing a PK model suitable for the small vertebrate model. In addition, you will set up a so-called hollow-fibre system as an effective in vitro model to study PK/PD properties of single drugs or drug combinations, and you will design safe and efficacious dosing regimens that can be applied to demonstrate in vivo activity of novel antibiotics. 



Your profile:

We are looking for a PhD candidate with a Master’s degree in pharmaceutical sciences or a related discipline and proven experience in bioanalytics and a solid background in pharmacology. The applicant must be proficient in mass spectrometry data acquisition and analysis and able to design experimental setups for generating meaningful data. Experience in handling zebrafish larvae (or related model organims) and cell cultures is considered an advantage. We expect the candidate to be proficient in oral and written English and a good team player in a cross-cultural and interdisciplinary team, covering the domains of biology, chemistry, pharmacy and biotechnology.

Disabled persons are given preference in the case of equal professional qualification. The HZI/HIPS aims for professional equality between women and men. The position is suitable for part-time work.


HIPS Saarbrücken



Bei gleicher fachlicher Eignung erhalten Schwerbehinderte den Vorzug.


Die Stelle ist teilzeitgeeignet.






3 Jahre


6 Monate


TVöD/Bund E13 (55%)



Bewerbungsschluss ist der  31.03.2023

Application: Applicants are required to complete the online application form here: (Please select Job No. 25/2023)

For further information related to the position, please contact Dr. Katarina Cirnski at



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