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

Young Researchers Magdeburg
Structural and Cell Biology Chemistry Complex Systems

Job Code:

Job Offer from October 16, 2019

The Department of bioprocess engineering at the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics of Complex Technical Systems in Magdeburg is looking for a master student in the field of upstream processing.

The topic of the work will be run under the title “Optimizing a high cell density perfusion process for the production of influenza A viruses derived DIPs”.

Project description

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, virus derived defective interfering particles (DIPs) have been proposed to be very promising antiviral agents. Ideally, viral vaccines and DIPs should be produced by modern production technology using animal cell culture. Virus particles are replicating titers 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 quantities needed for antiviral therapy using DIPs, production process intensification through high cell density perfusion cultivations could be a solution. To achieve high cell concentrations, a cell retention device allowing continuous virus harvest was successfully tested at our institute. However, several aspects regarding cell growth and virus production need further development and optimization:

  • Comparison of different surfactants added to the media and their impact on cell growth
  • Perfusion feeding strategy development
  • Process automation utilizing online cell measurements
  • Evaluation of different cell retention hollow fibers and their impact on virus sieving

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

When to start: From beginning of 2020

Your application

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


Marc Hein
E-Mail: Phone: +49 391 6110 236

The Max Planck Society seeks to increase the proportion of employed women in those areas where they are underrepresented and also seeks to employ more individuals with disabilities. Therefore, these groups are explicitly encouraged to apply for the position.

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