Master Thesis / Internship (m/f/d) | Upstream Process Development

Einsatzort: Magdeburg


  • Complex Systems
  • Structural and Cell Biology
  • Chemistry

Art der Stelle

Master Thesis / Internship (m/f/d) | Upstream Process Development

Stellenangebot vom 07.07.2021

The Department of Bioprocess Engineering at the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics of Complex Technical Systems in Magdeburg is looking for a master thesis student (m/f/d) in the field of upstream processing. The topic of the work will run under the title “Establishing a high cell density perfusion process for the production of onco-retroviral viral vectors”.


Since the twentieth century, many successful vaccines using inactivated or life-attenuated viruses have been introduced to the market and have been applied for viral diseases such as influenza, smallpox or yellow fever. More recently, the potential of viral vectors for cancer treatment and gene therapy was discovered. Ideally, viral vaccines and viral vectors should be produced by modern production technologies using animal cell culture. Here, the virus particles are produced in immortalized suspension animal cells such as MDCK, HEK293 or avian cell lines, growing in chemically-defined medium in stirred-tank bioreactors.

To answer the large virus quantities needed for gene therapy, process intensification strategies through high cell density perfusion cultivations could be a solution. Perfusion processes resulting in high cell concentrations have already been implemented in our group for a variety of cell lines using a range of cell retention devices. In this project, a high cell density process for a genetically modified HEK293 cell should be established. Here, several aspects regarding cell growth and viral vector production need to investigated and optimized:

  • Establishing a cell culture-based production process in a 1 L stirred tank bioreactor
  • Development of a perfusion feeding strategy
  • Implementation of a process automation utilizing online cell measurements

The candidate will have access to modern equipment at our Max Planck Institute in an international group of researchers and work with actual key aspects in industrial biopharmaceutical production such as process intensification of suspension animal cell cultures.

Your profile

  • Master student in biotechnology, bio-process engineering, technical biology, or life science
  • Lab experience with sterile cell culture, ideally in the following domains: mammalian cell culture, cell culture in bioreactors and virus production
  • Motivation, curiosity and team work skills
  • Good scientific English level

We offer

  • State of the art lab equipment
  • International work environment
  • Individual supervision

When to start

Fall 2021

How to apply

Send your CV, reference letters, a motivation letter and the list of attended courses with your grades (university and high school) to the contact.

The Max Planck Society is committed to increasing the number of individuals with disabilities in its workforce and therefore encourages applications from such qualified individuals. Furthermore, the Max Planck Society seeks to increase the number of women in those areas where they are underrepresented and therefore explicitly encourages women to apply.


Marc Hein
Phone: +49 391 6110 236

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