Job vacancy at Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH (Germany)

Open position

Job title: Postdoc – Aptamer Development Scientist – fixed-term (18 months)


Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH

Job description

Aptamers are single-stranded RNA or DNA molecules that can bind to specific target molecules with high affinity and specificity. They have a wide range of potential applications including as research tools for studying biological systems, as targeted therapeutics for diseases, and as diagnostic tools (bioreceptors) for earlier and more accurate disease detection in biosensor technologies. We aim to create a library of aptamers to be used in different biomedical applications, ranging from biosensing to diagnostic approaches. You will be responsible for the selection of ssDNA aptamers for protein-based biomarkers by means of capillary electrophoresis as well as low-weight molecules via heterogeneous partition methods.

Your tasks will include the following:

-Design and conducting of SELEX experiments to identify aptamers that bind to specific target molecules of interest. This involves: Design of starting libraries, Optimizing selection conditions, Using various analytical techniques (magnetic beads, capillary electrophoresis, qPCR etc.) to screen, separate, and amplify aptamers, DNA sequencing.

-Optimize aptamer properties once aptamers have been identified. This may involve (chemical) modifications such as truncation to reduce the size of aptamers for biosensing applications.

-Characterize aptamer performance using various analytical techniques, such as surface plasmon resonance and fluorescence-based assays.

-Support in the automation of the biosensor fabrication processes and development of standard operating procedures (SOPs) for the SELEX process

-Advance current SELEX processes

-As research scientist, you will be also involved in the preparation of project applications, as well in charge for results documentation and paper writing.

Further information on the project is available at:

Your Profile:

-Master degree (or equivalent) and PhD degree in the field of molecular biology, biochemistry, analytical chemistry, or related

-Hands-on experience with aptamer selection (SELEX process) and more specifically with molecular biology techniques such as PCR, qPCR, fluorescence-based assays, protein-DNA/RNA interaction analysis, electrophoresis in gel and capillary, surface plasmon resonance, and next-generation sequencing

-Willingness to familiarize yourself with new methods

-Out-of-the-box thinking and ability to communicate with scientists and technicians from various disciplines

-Well-structured and systematic research approach, as well as statistical and analytical working style
Experiences in publishing own work

Additional qualifications:
-Speaking German is beneficial
-Knowledge of protein production/purification
-Knowledge in bioinformatic analysis and programming is a plus
-Interest in the development of point-of-care biosensor technologies
-Familiarized working with an electronic lab book
-Entrepreneur mindset is a plus

Our Offer:

-We work on the very latest issues that impact our society and are offering you the chance to actively help in shaping the change! We offer ideal conditions for working in a motivated and entrepreneurial team:
-Outstanding scientific and technical infrastructure
-Participation in national and international conferences and workshops
-A large research campus with green spaces, offering the best possible means for networking with colleagues and pursuing sports alongside work (e.g. Institute’s running team)
-Comprehensive training courses and individual opportunities for personal and professional further development
-30 days of annual leave and provision for days off between public holidays and weekends (e. g. between Christmas and New Year)
-Ideal conditions for balancing work and private life, as well as a family-friendly corporate policy
-Targeted services for international employees, e.g. through our International Advisory Service

We offer you an exciting and varied role in an international and interdisciplinary working environment. The position is initially for a fixed term of 1,5 years. Salary and social benefits will conform to the provisions of the Collective Agreement for the Public Service (TVöD-Bund) depending on the applicant’s qualifications and the precise nature of the tasks assigned to them. If you are passionate about developing aptamers for biosensor applications and have the expertise and experience we are seeking, we encourage you to apply for this exciting opportunity!

We welcome applications from people with diverse backgrounds, e.g. in terms of age, gender, disability, sexual orientation/identity, and social, ethnic, and religious origin. A diverse and inclusive working environment with equal opportunities in which everyone can realize their potential is important to us.


Fixed-term – 18 months

Send your application and CV to

Dr Mateo Alejandro Martinez Roque
Institute of Biological Information Processing, IBI-3, Bioelectronics Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbHInstitute of Biological Information Processing, IBI-3, Bioelectronics Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH
Jülich, North Rhine-Westphalia 52428