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ChemJets

Fourteen JUNIOR RESEARCHER positions in

open at the UCT Prague as of 1 April, May or June 2018

Who can apply?

We are looking for postdoc/junior researchers from around the world who:

  • are 2-7 years after receiving PhD diploma in relevant fields,
  • were not employed in the Czech Republic in the years 2015-2017,
  • published at least two publications in the last three years,
  • are interested in one of the fourteen key research areas in chemistry (see below),
  • can start the 24 months fellowship 1 June 2018.

Benefits for applicants

  • 24 months fellowship at the UCT Prague (MSCA-IF concept)
  • full-time contract for two years with possibility of extension
  • monthly salary of 3000 EUR + consumables
  • support of excellent mentors & professional administration
  • possibility to establish own independent research group
  • employee benefits (6 weeks of vacation, catering allowance, pension insurance allowance, language courses, institutional childcare, etc.)
  • international creative environment, various activities for expats
  • low cost of living in tolerant, progressive and secure country with rich cultural and natural heritage
  • excellent transport connection with the whole world

How to apply?

  • select one key research area in chemistry (see the list)
  • download and fill in APPLICATION FORM
  • submit your application via e-mail to marika.kurova@vscht.cz before Monday 27 November 2017 23:59 Brussels time
  • be ready for an individual skype interview with mentor between Mon-Thu 11-14 December 2017
  • final results of the selection process will be announced to all applicants on Mon 18 December 2017

Selection criteria

  • research excellence (publications, citations, projects, etc.)
  • clear vision and objectives of own research project
  • know-how, international experience, skills, laboratory techniques
  • motivation, creativity, activity, flexibility, independency, responsibility
  • excellent knowledge of English (level B2 or higher)
  • organisational, communication and presentation skills
  • ability and willingness to publish results in reviewed highly impacted journals
  • ability and willingness to prepare and submit at least one research project during the mobility
  • ability and willingness to establish own independent research group

 

 

Research areas & mentors

Biochemistry

Evaluate clinically relevant biological potential of natural compounds; both cocktails from natural resources and newly synthesized molecules and nanoparticles.

Planned activities: robotic platform for high-throughput testing, preparation of experimental materials and passaging of tissue cultures, extraction of biological materials – fractionation of cocktails, testing of antimicrobial activities, testing of anticancer activities, testing of antidiabetic and anti-inflammatory activities, comparison of biological data with chemical analysis, implementation of new assays – anti-Alzheimer activity, endocrine disruptors, testing new set of compounds – chindioline derivatives, etc.

Mentor: Prof. Tomas Ruml, tomas.ruml@vscht.cz, www

Füzik T., Píchalová R., Schur F.K.M., Strohalmová K., Křížová I., Hadravová R., Rumlová M., Briggs J., Ulbrich P., Ruml T. Nucleic Acid Binding by Mason-Pfizer Monkey Virus CA Promotes Virus Assembly and Genome Packaging. Journal of Virology. 2016. 90(9): 4593-4603.

Kroupa T., Langerová H., Doležal M., Prchal J., Spiwok V., Hunter E., Rumlová M., Hrabal R., Ruml T. Membrane Interactions of the Mason-Pfizer Monkey Virus Matrix Protein and Its Budding Deficient Mutants. Journal of Molecular Biology. 2016. 428(23): 4708-4722.

Schur F., Hagen W., Rumlová M., Ruml T., Müller B., Kraeusslich H.-G., Briggs J. The structure of the immature HIV-1 capsid in intact virus particles at 8.8 Å resolution. Nature. 2015. 517(7535): 505-508.

Jurášek M., Rimpelová S., Kmoníčková E., Drašar P.B., Ruml T. Tailor-made fluorescent trilobolide to study its biological relevance. Journal of Medicinal Chemistry. 2014. 57(19): 7947-7954.

Bharat T.A.M., Davey N., Ulbrich P., Riches, J.D., de Marco J.D.A., Rumlova M., Sachse C., Ruml T., Briggs J.A.G. Structure of the immature retroviral capsid at 8 Å resolution by cryo-electron microscopy. Nature. 2012. 487(7407): 385-389.

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Biotechnology – Physical Chemistry – Chemical Engineering

Theoretical study and subsequent experimental verification of membrane separation connected with bioprocess (an example of bioprocess can be 1-butanol production from saccharides/glycerol or ethanol production from syngas). The aim is to develop the process, in which the membrane separation is connected with fermentation/bioprocess to continuously separate the product from fermentation broth. In frame of a long standing research in the field of mechanically agitated fermenters design, the necessity rises to combine the fermentation process with a continuous separation of the product. For the future completion of the methodology of industrial fermenters design, it is necessary to broaden this research topic, including membrane separation experimental study.

Planned activities: study of membrane separation methods and membranes properties in relation to separated molecules (alcohols), selection of suitable membrane types, assembling laboratory equipment, laboratory experiments, testing proper membrane types, mapping of process conditions effect, joining of separation process with fermentatin in laboratory scale etc.

Mentors:

Assoc. Prof. Petra Patáková, petra.patakova@vscht.cz, www

Assoc. Prof. Tomáš Moucha, tomas.moucha@vscht.cz, www

Assoc. Prof. Ondřej Vopička, ondrej.vopicka@vscht.cz, www, Researcher ID (WoS): B-7912-2008

Kolek J., Sedlar K., Provaznik I., Patakova P. Dam and Dcm methylations prevent gene transfer into Clostridium pasteurianum NRRL B-598: development of methods for electrotransformation, conjugation and sonoporation. Biotechnology for Biofuels. 2016. 9: 14.

Kolek J., Patakova P., Melzoch K., Sigler K., Rezanka T. Changes in membrane plasmalogens of Clostridium pasteurianum during butanol fermentation as determined by lipidomic analysis. PlosOne. 2015. 10(3): e0122058.

Sedlar K., Kolek J., Skutkova H., Branska B., Provaznik I., Patakova P. Complete genome sequence of Clostridium pasteurianum NRRL B-598, a non-type strain producing butanol. Journal of Biotechnology. 2015. 214: 113-114.

Paulova L., Patakova P., Rychtera M., Melzoch K. High solid fed-batch SSF with delayed inoculation for improved production of bioethanol from wheat straw. Fuel. 2014. 122: 294-300.

Patakova P., Linhova M., Rychtera M., Paulova L., Melzoch K. Novel and neglected issues of acetone-butanol-ethanol (ABE) fermentation by clostridia: Clostridium metabolic diversity, tools for proces mapping and continuous fermentation systems. Biotechnology Advances. 2013. 31(1): 58-67.

Labik L., Moucha T., Kordac M., Rejl F., Valenz L. Gas-Liquid Mass Transfer Rates and Impeller Power Consumptions for Industrial Vessel Design. Chemical Engineering & Technology. 2015. 38(9): 1646-1653.

Rejl F. J., Valenz L., Haidl J., Moucha T., Kordač M. On the modeling of gas-phase mass-transfer in metal sheet structured packings. Chemical Engineering Reearch & Design. 2015. 93: 194-202.

Labik L., Vostal R., Moucha T., Rejl F., Kordač M. Volumetric mass transfer coefficient in multiple-impeller gas-liquid contactors. Scaling-up study for various impeller type. Chemical Engineering Journal. 2014. 240: 55-61.

Linek V., Moucha T., Rejdl F. J., Kordac M., Hovorka F., Opletal M., Haidl J. Power and mass transfer correlations for the design of multi-impeller gas-liquid contactors for non-coalescent electrolyte solutions. Chemical Engineering Journal. 2012. 209: 263-272.

Moucha T., Rejl F. J., Kordac M., Labik L. Mass transfer characteristics of multiple-impellerfermenters for their design and scale-up. Biochemical Engineering Journal. 2012. 69: 17-27.

Vopicka O., Pilnacek K., Friess K. Separation of methanol-dimethyl carbonate vapour mixtures with PDMS and PTMSP membranes. Separation and Purification Technology. 2017. 174: 1-11.

Vopicka O., Pilnacek Cihal P., Friess K. Sorption of methanol, dimethyl carbonate, methyl acetate, and acetone vapors in CTA and PTMSP: General findings from the GAB Analysis. Journal of Polymer Science Part B-Polymer Physics. 2016. 54(5): 561-569.

Vopicka O., De Angelis M.G., Du N.Y., li N.W., Guiver M.D., Sarti G.C. Mixed gas sorption in glassy polymeric membranes: II. CO2/CH4 mixtures in a polymer of intrinsic microporosity (PIM-1). Journal of Membrane Science. 2014. 459: 264-276.

Vopicka O., De Angelis M.G., Sarti G.C. Mixed gas sorption in glassy polymeric membranes: I. CO2/CH4 and n-C-4/CH4 mixtures sorption in poly(1-trimethylsilyl-1-propyne) (PTMSP). Journal of Membrane Science. 2014. 449: 98-108.

Vopicka O., Friess K., Hynek V., Sysel P., Zgazar M., Sipek M., Pilnacek K., Lanc M., Jansen J.C., Mason C.R., Budd P.M. Equilibrium and transient sorption of vapours and gases in the polymer of intrinsic microporosity PIM-1. Journal of Membrane Science. 2013. 434: 148-160.

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Chemical Engineering

Advanced particle-based computer modelling (mostly DEM = Discrete Element Method applied to colloidal dispersions, partially also DPD = Dissipative Particle Dynamics). Parallelization of DEM code for graphic cards allowing to increase the number of particles (on the order of 10^5) and to calculate at realistic time-scales (e.g., shear-rates in the order of 10^2 s^–1). Gaining deep understanding of concentrated colloidal dispersions and their rheology required for the conceptual design of particle-based models.

Main objectives: speed-up research based on unique DEM modelling of colloidal dispersions developed in recent years at our research group, approach industrially relevant problems associated with rheology and coagulation of colloidal dispersions, through combined modelling approach broaden the limits of the engineering description of mass-transport processes occurring together with fast reactions (polymerization, catalysis) or colloidal gelation.

Planned activities: DEM model and the field of concentrated dispersions, conceptual design of model development and validation procedures, implementation of key novel features (physical description), parallelization of the DEM code for graphic card applications, AFM colloidal measurements for validation, mass-transport limitation at nano-scale, dynamics of colloidal gelation and structure of gels, calculation of constraints for industrial processes handling dispersions, formulation of kernels for population balance modelling, parametric studies and processing of results, etc.

Links to further research of junior researcher: films from colloidal dispersions, Cahn-Hilliard models of morphology evolution, coagulation, breakage and fouling kernels for CFD modelling for colloidal dispersions, multi-scale modelling and integration including automatic construction of surrogate models, application of dispersions in energy storage applications (flow fuel-cell, heat-storage), sensors for colloidal dispersions applicable at industrial conditions.

Mentor: Prof. Juraj Kosek, juraj.kosek@vscht.cz, www, Researcher ID (WoS): B-9182-2016

Ferkl P., Toulec M., Laurini E., Pricl S., Fermeglia M., Auffarth S., Eling B., Settels V., Kosek J. Multi-scale modelling of heat transfer in polyurethane foams. Chemical Engineering Science. 2017. 172: 323-334.

Vonka M., Nistor A., Rygl A., Toulec M., Kosek J. Morphology model for polymer foams formed by thermally induced phase separation. Chemical Engineering Journal. 2016. 284: 357-371.

Kroupa M., Vonka M., Kosek J. Modeling the mechanism of coagulum formation in dispersions. Langmuir. 2014. 30(10): 2693-2702.

Ferkl P., Pokorný R., Bobák M., Kosek J. Heat transfer in one-dimensional micro- and nano-cellular foams. Chemical Engineering Science. 2013. 97: 50-58.

Kroupa M., Vonka M., Šoóš M., Kosek J.: Utilizing the Discrete Element Method for the modeling of viscosity in concentrated suspensions. Langmuir 32: 8451-8460, 2016.

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Chemical Technology – Electrochemistry

Performing selective oxidation of organic molecules to the high added value compounds using environmentally friendly oxidation agents is a highly prospective and attractive subject. Oxidation agents based on hypervalent iodine (the most popular is 2-iodoxybenzoic acid, often denoted as IBX) have a potential to fulfil this task. However, their practical application is, mainly due to safety issues, limited to laboratory scale. Electrochemical generation of these compounds on spot represents a potential solution to this problem opening the way to their industrial utilisation. However, despite the wide potential of these compounds in e.g. drug synthesis, their electrochemical behaviour remains practically unexplored. Within the project, the most promising compounds will be selected (with respect to applicability in synthesis as well as to the suitability for electrochemical generation) and studied to accomplish the above mentioned task.

Planned activities: investigation of relevant iodine compounds (iodobenzene, 2-iodoxybenzoic acid, 2, 3 and 4-iodobenzoic acids and related their iodoso/iodyl analogues, etc.) electrochemical behaviour and anodic oxidation mechanism on industrially relevant electrode materials, preparative electrolysis and its optimisation with respect to the current yield and oxidant molecules interaction with model substrates (electrolyte composition, electrolysis operation), etc.

Mentor: Prof. Karel Bouzek, karel.bouzek@vscht.cz, www

Chanda D., Hnát J., Bystron T., Paidar M., Bouzek K. Optimization of synthesis of the nickel-cobalt oxide based anode electrocatalyst and of the related membrane-electrode assembly for alkaline water electrolysis. Journal of Power Sources. 2017. 347: 247-258.

Prokop M., Bystron T., Paidar M., Bouzek K. H3PO3 electrochemical behaviour on a bulk Pt electrode: adsorption and oxidation kinetics. Electrochimica Acta. 2016. 212: 465-472.

Tufa R.A., Rugiero E., Chanda D., Hnát J., van Baak W., Veerman J., Fontananova E., Di Profio G., Drioli E., Bouzek K., Curcio E. Salinity gradient power-reverse electrodialysis and alkaline polymer electrolyte water electrolysis for hydrogen production. Journal of Membrane Science. 2016. 514: 155-164.

Diaz L.A., Hnát J., Heredia N., Bruno M.M., Viva F.A., Paidar M., Corti H.R., Bouzek K., Abuin G.C. Alkali doped poly (2,5-benzimidazole) membrane for alkaline water electrolysis: Characterization and performance. Journal of Power Sources. 2016. 312: 128-136.

Chanda D., Hnát J., Dobrota A.S., Pašti I.A., Paidar M., Bouzek K. The effect of surface modification by reduced graphene oxide on the electrocatalytic activity of nickel towards the hydrogen evolution reaction. Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics. 2015. 17(40): 26864-26874.

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Chemoinformatics – Computational Drug Design

The discovery of human steroid receptor ligands

Project description: Steroid receptors (SR) represent an important molecular target for drug discovery. The identification of new SR ligands helps in understanding of their role in the development and progression of serious human diseases, such as prostate and breast cancers or diabetes. The main aim of junior researcher project will be the computational discovery and validation of new SR ligands. For this purpose, various techniques of chemical space exploration and virtual screening will be used. Specifically, chemical space containing potential SR ligands will be generated by our algorithm Molpher. Molpher generated virtual library will subsequently be analyzed and mined for potential SR ligands. Finally, the activity of predicted SR ligands will be experimentally verified by project collaborators from the Laboratory of Cell Differentiation.

The mobility will take place in the Laboratory of Informatics and Chemistry UCT Prague. We closely collaborate with the Laboratory of Cell Differentiation of the Institute of Molecular Genetics CAS. We are the member of the Czech national infrastructure for chemical biology CZ-OPENSCREEN, the Czech node of a European infrastructure EU-OPENSCREEN.

Candidate requirements: It is desirable that the junior researcher is experienced in chemoinformatics or computational drug design. Welcome is also the knowledge of programming (preferred, but not required, are Python and R programming languages), as well as of the application of statistical and data mining techniques for the analysis of biological data.

Planned activities: The generation of Molpher virtual library of ligands potentially active at the glucocorticoid receptor (GR), the development of a computational workflow for the mining and analysis of Molpher generated GR ligands, the prioritization of potential GR ligands, the development of a computational protocol for the validation of GR ligands, the application of the workflow on the design of ligands active against other selected steroid receptors.

Mentor: Assoc. Prof. Daniel Svozil, daniel.svozil@vscht.cz, www, Researcher ID (WoS): D-4407-2009

Selected publications of the mentor:

Šícho M., de Bruyn Kops C., Stork C., Svozil D., Kirchmair J. FAME 2: Simple and Effective Machine Learning Model of Cytochrome P450 Regioselectivity. Journal of Chemical Information and Modelling. 2017. 57(8): 1832–1846.

Škuta C., Popr M., Muller T., Jindřich J., Kahle M., Sedlák D., Svozil D., Bartůněk P. Probes & Drugs portal: an interactive, open data resource for chemical biology. Nature Methods. 2017. 14(8): 758-759.

Voršilák M., Svozil D. Nonpher: computational method for design of hard-to-synthesize structures. Journal of Cheminformatics. 2017. 9: 20.

Hoksza D., Škoda P., Voršilák M., Svozil D. Molpher: a software framework for systematic chemical space exploration. Journal of Cheminformatics. 2014. 6: 7.

Škuta C., Bartůněk P., Svozil D. InCHlib - interactive cluster heatmap for web applications. Journal of Cheminformatics. 2014. 6: 44.

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Electrochemistry – 3D-Printing Technologies

Advanced Energy Storage Devices by 3D-printing technologies and 2D electrochemical functional elements

3D-printing technologies will be employed in this project for the fabrication of functional electrochemical energy storage (EES) systems using commercially available materials and also testing novel materials prepared as ink formulations as part of this project. 3D-printing manufacturing of energy storage devices is only at its very early stage globally but it has a great potential to revolutionize the way battery and capacitors are designed, integrated and assembled into new electronic systems replacing conventional manufacturing processes. In this project three different 3D-printing technologies will be tested to fabricate the electrodes in relation to the desired characteristics of the materials employed:

  1. Selective laser melting (SLM) metal 3D-printing → metal electrodes
  2. Extrusion deposition → thermoplastic carbon-based conductive electrodes
  3. Ink robocasting → Graphene or other 2D materials based inks as novel electrodes

In addition, and particularly as support for the techniques 1 and 2, electrodeposition methods (electroplating) will be employed to deposit thin films of active material onto the electrode surface in order to infer enhanced capacitive, conductive or catalytic properties to the electrodes.

The innovative use of 3D-printing manufacturing technologies enables the creation of energy storage systems with complex geometries and therefore with improved performance if compared to standard flat- type systems. Several materials can be controllably deposited in layer-by-layer fashion until the complex 3D geometry is created. Among the numerous materials available, those with electrical and electrochemical properties have lately attracted much interest since they can be used directly to create functional devices such as capacitors, batteries and electrochemical sensors.

In this project 3D electrodes will be created with innovative design aiming particularly at obtaining increased surface area which represents a key parameter for higher energy density and longer cycle life of EES systems. 3D-printing enables a digitally controlled fabrication of complex structures and therefore ideally suited for the fabrication of electrodes with unique design. These electrodes will be fabricated using different materials and comparatively tested for the selection of the best performing device.

Planned activities: 3D printing/manufacturing of electrochemical systems, electrochemical characterization of the system with target of energy applications, such as water splitting and CO2 reduction, construction of 3D printed electrochemical device for energy applications, 3D printing of the lithium and sodium batteries, materials characterization of the 3D printed batteries, 3D printing of the electrochemical supercapacitors, enhancing properties of supercapacitors by incorporation of functionalized graphenes, electrochemical testing of 3D printed supercapacitor, etc.

It is expected that the candidate has experience in electrochemistry or 3D printing or 2D materials and he/she is willing to learn in the complementary areas of this highly interdisciplinary project.

Mentor: Dr. Martin Pumera, martin.pumera@vscht.cz, Research ID (WoS): F-2724-2010

Gusmao R., Sofer Z., Pumera M. Black Phosphorus Rediscovered: From Bulk to Monolayer. Angewandte Chemie International Edition. 2017. 56(28): 8052-8072.

Ambrosi A. & Pumera M. Self-Contained Polymer/Metal 3D Printed Electrochemical Platform for Tailored Water Splitting. Advanced Functional Materials. 2017. 1700655.

Nasir M.Z.M., Mayorga-Martinez C.C., Sofer Z., Pumera M. Two-Dimensional 1T-Phase Transition Metal Dichalcogenides as Nanocarriers To Enhance and Stabilize Enzyme Activity for Electrochemical Pesticide Detection. ACS Nano. 2017. 11(6): 5774-5784.

Wang H., Potroz M.G., Jackman J.A., Khezri B., Marić T., Cho N.-J., Pumera M. Bioinspired Spiky Micromotors Based on Sporopollenin Exine Capsules. Advanced Functional Materials. 2017. 27: 1702338.

Ambrosi A. & Pumera M. 3D-printing technologies for electrochemical applications. Chemical Society Reviews. 2016. 45(10): 2740-2755.

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Environmental Chemistry

Optimization of sludge treatment in wastewater treatment with the aim of energy and raw material recovery.
Sludge is an important byproduct of advanced wastewater treatment. The approach to sludge processing shifted in last decades from disposal to reuse and recovery approach. Sludge contains organic matter which is used for energy production and contains a lot of elements and specific compounds which start to be deficient. Therfore the optimization of energy and raw material recovery from sludge has become to be crucial aim for wastewater management research.


Planned activities:
> Analysis of the most beneficial energy recovery from sludge.
> Analysis of the most beneficial raw material recovery from sludge.
> Analysis of the most beneficial combined raw material and energy recovery from sludge.
> Experimental verification of the most promising scenarios.
> Writing of a project proposal in the field of conducted research.

Key Words: Anaerobic digestion, thermal treatment, phosphorus, metals, enzymes, polyalkanoates …

Mentor: Prof. Pavel Jeníček, pavel.jenicek@vscht.cz 

Jeníček P., Horejš J., Pokorná-Krayzelová L., Bindzar J., Bartáček J. Simple biogas desulfurization by microaeration – Full scale experience. Anaerobe. 2017. In Press.

Krayzelova L., Bartacek J., Díaz I., Jeison D., Volcke E.I.P., Jenicek P. Microaeration for hydrogen sulfide removal during anaerobic treatment: a review. Reviews in Environmental Science and BioTechnology. 2015. 14(4): 703-725.

Jenicek P., Celis C.A., Krayzelova L., Anferova N., Pokorna D. Improving products of anaerobic sludge digestion by microaeration. Water Science & Technology. 2014. 69(4): 803-809.

Krayzelova L., Bartacek J., Kolesarova N., Jenicek P. Microaeration for hydrogen sulfide removal in UASB reactor. Bioresource Technology. 2014. 172: 297-302.

Jenicek P., Kutil J., Benes O., Todt V., Zabranska J., Dohanyos M. Energy self-sufficient sewage wastewater treatment plants: is optimized anaerobic sludge digestion the key?  Water Science & Technology. 2013. 68(8): 1739-1744.

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Food Chemistry & Analysis

Food authenticity and safety is an issue of a global concern. The availability of advanced strategies to control the mentioned food attributes is one of the key conditions enabling protection consumers´ health and fighting against fraud. The junior researcher will be responsible for a performing of a specific case study concerned with selected food category which is of priority concern at that time e.g. spices, wine, food supplements, etc.). The major objective will be to deliver fast and effective method parameters of which will overcome existing time and labour demanding conventional laboratory procedures. Obtaining the knowledge in development of multi-analyte/multi-matrix approaches in chemical food safety control, as well as non-target metabolomic fingerprinting/profiling practices for the purpose of authentication and 'unknown' discovery, will be supported.

The research projects currently running at the Department of Analysis and Nutrition involve a wide range of challenging themes related to food and natural products quality (nutritional, sensorial), authenticity and safety; emerging issues at the global scene are mainly addressed. In the recent years, an intensive interdisciplinary ‘omics’-based research aimed at the assessment of both in vitro and in vivo effects, both health promoting and toxic, induced by biologically active food compounds has been initiated.

Planned activities: development and implementation of novel analytical strategies based both on target analysis and non-target screening (fingerprinting/profiling), applicable for food authenticity and chemical safety testing, i.e. control of  attributes closely related; various experimental techniques, mainly chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry, hybrid high resolution mass spectrometry, etc.

Mentor: Prof. Jana Hajslova, jana.hajslova@vscht.cz, www

Rubert J., Lacina O., Zachariasova M., Hajslova J. Saffron authentication based on liquid chromatography high resolution tandem mass spectrometry and multivariate data analysis. Food Chemistry. 2016. 204: 201-209.

Dzuman Z., Zachariasova M., Veprikova Z., Godula M., Hajslova J. Multi-analyte high performance liquid chromatography coupled to high resolution tandem mass spectrometry method for control of pesticide residues, mycotoxins, and pyrrolizidine alkaloids. Analytica Chimica Acta. 2015. 863: 29-40.

Rubert J., Lacina O., Fauhl-Hassek C., Hajslova J. Metabolic fingerprinting based on high resolution tandem mass spectrometry: a reliable tool for wine authentication? Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry. 2014. 406(27): 6791-6803.

Cajka T., Danhelova H., Zachariasova M., Riddellova K., Hajslova J. Application of direct analysis in real time ionization–mass spectrometry (DART–MS) in chicken meat metabolomics aiming at the retrospective control of feed fraud. Metabolomics. 2013. 9(3): 545-557.

Václavíková M., Malachová A., Vepříková Z., Džuman Z., Zachariášová M., Hajšlová J. ‘Emerging’ mycotoxins in cereals processing chains: Changes of enniatins during beer and bread making. Food Chemistry. 2013. 136(2): 750-757.

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Materials Chemistry – Plasmonic Catalysis

Advanced trend in materials science and engineering: plasmonic catalysis. Junior researcher will participate on the synthesis of modified catalytic system, their immobilization on the plasmon-active surface, application of light triggering and measurements of catalytic activity.

Planned activities: polymer pattering by excimer laser lithography, deposition of metal – creation of SPP supported structure, measurement of plasmonic properties of created noble meta nanostructures, synthesis of catalyst with functional substituent, investigation of catalyst activity in vitro, optimization of catalyst structure, activation of catalyst for their further immobilization, immobilization of catalyst on the plasmon-active surface, optimization of grafting procedures, synthesis of LSP supported metal nanoparticles with various shape and size, functionalisation of metal nanoparticles surface, grafting of catalyst to nanoparticles surface, optimization of colloid lithography for creation of plasmonic structures, investigation of the effect of immobilization on the catalytic properties, application of light triggering with the aim to trigger the catalyst response, measurements of kinetic curves with and without of plasmon-triggering, creation of polymer-based platform for micro-flow chemistry, implementation of plasmonic structures in the micro-flow platform, immobilization of selected compound in the micro-flow cell, theoretical justification of plasmon triggering in the catalytic proceses, combination plasmon-catalysis and micro-flow cell, implementation of flow chemistry in the plasmon-triggered catalytic system, etc.

Mentor: Prof. Václav Švorčík, Vaclav.svorcik@vscht.cz

Slepička P., Slepičková Kasálková N., Siegel J., Kolská Z., Bačáková L., Švorčík V. Nano-structured and Functionalized Surfaces for Cytocompatibility Improvement and Bactericidal Action. Biotechnology Advances. 2015. 33(6): 1120-1129.

Siegel J., Polívková M., Staszek M., Kolářová K., Rimpelová S., Švorčík V. Nanostructured Silver Coatings on Polyimide and Their Antibacterial Response. Materials Letters. 2015. 145: 87-90.

Kolářová K., Vosmanská J., Rimpelová S., Švorčík V. Effect of Plasma Treatment on Cellulose Fiber. Cellulose. 2013. 20(2): 953-961.

Slepička P., Slepičková Kasálková N., Stránská E., Švorčík V. Surface Characterization of Plasma Treated Polymers for Applications as Biocompatible Carriers. Express Polymer Letters. 2013. 7(6): 535-545.

Slepička P., Trostová S., Slepičková N., Kolská Z., Sajdl P., Švorčík V. Surface Modification of Biopolymers by Argon Plasma and Thermal Treatment. Plasma Processes and Polymers. 2012. 9(2): 197-205.

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Materials Chemistry – Metallurgy

Synthesis of technically important intermetallic compounds (aluminide-based materials and quasicrystalline alloys) by powder metallurgy processes (reactive sintering, mechanical alloying, spark plasma sintering) and their characterization (microstructure, mechanical properties, corrosion behaviour).

Planned activities: preparation of aluminide-based alloys (reactive sintering, preparation of quasicrystals (reactive sintering), mechanical alloying and spark plasma sintering), characterization of microstructure by optical and electron microscopy, phase analysis, measurement of mechanical properties, study of corrosion behaviour in electrolytes and at high temperatures, study of thermal stability of quasicrystals, etc.

Mentor: Assoc. Prof. Pavel Novák, panovak@vscht.cz, www, Researcher ID (WoS): F-1049-2017

Salvetr P., Pecenová Z., Školáková A., Novák P. Innovative Technology for Preparation of Seamless Nitinol Tubes Using SHS Without Forming. Metallurgical and Materials Transactions A – Physical Metallurgy and Materials Science. 2017. 48A(4): 1524-1527.

Novák P., Školáková A., Pignol D., Průša F., Salvetr P., Kubatík F.T., Perriere L., Karlík M. Finding the energy source for self-propagating high-temperature synthesis production of NiTi shape memory alloy. Materials Chemistry and Physics. 2016. 181: 295-300.

Novák P., Pokorný P., Vojtěch V., Knaislová A., Školáková A., Čapek J., Karlík M., Kopeček J. Formation of Ni-Ti intermetallics during reactive sintering at 500-650°C. Materials Chemistry and Physics. 2015. 155: 113-121.

Novák P., Kubatík T., Vystrčil J., Hendrych R., Kříž J., Mlynár J., Vojtěch D. Powder metallurgy preparation of Al-Cu-Fe quasicrystals using mechanical alloying and Spark Plasma Sintering. Intermetallics. 2014. 52: 131-137.

Novák P., Michalcová A., Marek I., Mudrová M., Saksl K., Bednarčík J., Zikmund P., Vojtěch D. On the formation of intermetallics in Fe-Al system - An in situ XRD study. Intermetallics. 2013. 32: 127-136.

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Organic Chemistry – Supramolecular Chemistry

Due to their pre-organized skeletons with tuneable size and even 3D shapes of their cavities, calixarenes play an important role in contemporary supramolecular chemistry. They are very popular as molecular scaffolds in the design of novel receptors and self-assembly systems. The well-established chemistry of classical calixarenes can be surprisingly complicated by the introduction of heteroatoms instead of the usual CH2 bridging units. The introduction of four sulfur atoms leads to the formation of thiacalixarenes, which are very promising members of the so called heteracalixarene family. Similarly, one can find azacalixarenes, oxacalixarenes or even selenacalixarenes, all of them possessing very much different properties when compared to the parent classical calixarenes.

The presence of sulfur atoms invokes a dramatic change not only in the complexation behaviour and conformational preferences, but also in the basic chemistry of such compounds. Consequently, derivatization of alkylated thiacalix[4]arenes using SEAr reactions (nitration, formylation, halogenation) yields the meta-substituted products (with respect to the phenolic oxygen), whereas the same reactions with classical calix[4]arenes afford the para-substituted products. As a result, it would be very interesting to know the chemistry and conformational behaviour of calixarene systems possessing both sulfur and CH2 bridges within one molecule. Such mixed (S/CH2) systems could retain the properties of both parent macrocycles which could find many applications in supramolecular chemistry, including the design of novel types of receptors.

The role of the junior researcher will be to develop robust and scalable methods for the preparation of such a mixed calixarene analogues (CH2/S, CH2/N, CH2/O, etc.) and to study their properties with the aim of deeper understanding their chemistry, conformational preferences, dynamic behaviour, complexation abilities etc. All these knowledge will be further used for the applications of these novel compounds in supramolecular chemistry (receptors, sensors, self-assembly systems...).

Mentor: Prof. Pavel Lhoták, pavel.lhotak@vscht.cz, www

Tlustý M., Slavík P., Kohout M., Eigner V., Lhoták P. Inherently Chiral Upper-Rim-Bridged Calix[4]arenes Possessing a Seven Membered Ring. Organic Letters. 2017. 19(11): 2933-2936.

Hučko M., Dvořáková H., Eigner V., Lhoták P. 2,14-Dithiacalix[4]arene and its homooxa analogues: synthesis and dynamic NMR study of conformational behaviour. Chemical Communications. 2015. 51(32): 7051-7053.

Slavík P., Eigner V., Lhoták P. Intramolecularly Bridged Calix[4]arenes with Pronounced Complexation Ability toward Neutral Compounds. Organic Letters. 2015. 17(11): 2788-2791.

Flídrová K., Böhm S., Dvořáková H., Eigner V., Lhoták P. Dimercuration of Calix[4]arenes: Novel Substitution Pattern in Calixarene Chemistry. Organic Letters. 2014. 16(1): 138-141.

Flidrova K., Slavik P., Eigner V., Dvorakova H., Lhotak P. meta-Bridged calix[4]arenes: a straightforward synthesis via organomercurial chemistry. Chemical Communications. 2013. 49(60): 6749-6751.

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Particle Technology – Chemical Engineering

The main objective is to work on advanced drug-delivery platforms based on in-situ synthesis and release of active pharmaceutical ingredients using miniature chemical factories. These will have the form of biodegradable composite microparticles (size comparable with single cells) capable of storing drug precursors, distributing them to site of action through remotely controllable autonomous transport, and locally converting them to active drug products. The work can focus on aspects such as design and manufacture of such microparticles, their surface modification, mechanisms and algorithms for their external control, motility, interaction with living systems (e.g. cell cultures), possible integration with microelectronic components as well as systems-level integration in the context of the pharmaceutical industry.

Planned activities: Composite particle synthesis and characterisation; surface functionalisation of composite microparticles; interaction of functional microparticles with living cells in vitro and in vivo; exploration of hybrid systems containing microelectronic components; autonomous movement of functional microparticles, their remote control and communication.

Mentor: Prof. František Štěpánek, frantisek.stepanek@vscht.cz, www, Researcher ID (WoS): C-1218-2009

Pittermannová A., Ruberová Z., Zadražil A., Bremond N., Bibette J., Štěpánek F. Microfluidic fabrication of composite hydrogel microparticles in the size range of blood cells. RSC Advances. 2016. 6: 103532-103540.

Tokárová V., Pittermannová A., Král V., Řezáčová P., Štěpánek F. Feasibility and constraints of particle targeting using antigen-antibody interaction. Nanoscale. 2013. 5(23): 11490-11498.

Kovačík P., Singh M., Štěpánek F. Remote control of diffusion from magnetic hollow silica microspheres. Chemical Engineering Journal. 2013. 232: 591-598.

Čejková J., Haufová P., Gorný D., Hanuš J., Štěpánek F. Biologically triggered liberation of sub-micron particles from alginate microcapsules. Journal of Materials Chemistry B. 2013. 1(40): 5456-5461.

Hanuš J., Ullrich M., Dohnal J., Singh M., Štěpánek F. Remotely controlled diffusion from magnetic liposome microgels. Langmuir. 2013. 29(13): 4381-4387.

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Physical Chemistry

The junior researcher will primarily focus on improving the field of computational photodynamics and theoretical spectroscopy with modern approaches of machine learning and information theory. He/she will be involved in research activities of the Theoretical Photodynamics Group. The candidate will introduce modern approaches of statistical analysis, combining them with techniques for theoretical spectroscopy and light-induced processes developed in the Laboratory.

It is also expected that new techniques will be developed to optimize molecular properties in “chemical space”, i.e. developing systems of automatized molecular design, with an emphasis on tuning light/matter interactions. The candidate will work on novel topics connected to virtual screening and modelling of thermochemical and spectroscopic properties of solid state materials. In later stages of the stay, the researcher will be encouraged to define applications and further development of methodology for independent projects.

Planned activities: implementation of machine learning (ML) algorithms, interconnection of the algorithms with existing computer codes for molecular simulations and theoretical spectroscopy, testing  and applications of new algorithms in the fields of molecular modelling and theoretical spectroscopy, envision of new applications to effective modelling and fast screening of molecular spectra, implementing of new approaches for automatic simulation methods (force field calculations, “chemical space” simulations), automation of molecular design, automation of molecular design.

Mentor: Prof. Petr Slavíček, petr.slavicek@vscht.cz, www, Researcher ID (WoS): B-7511-2008

Unger I., Seidel R., Thürmer S., Pohl M.N., Aziz E.F., Cederbaum L.S., Muchová E., Slavíček P., Winter B., Kryzhevoi N.V. Observation of electron-transfer-mediated decay in aqueous solution. Nature Chemistry. 2017. 9(7): 708-714.

Slavíček P., Kryzhevoi N.V., Aziz E.F., Winter B. Relaxation Processes in Aqueous Systems upon X-ray Ionization: Entanglement of Electronic and Nuclear Dynamics. Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters. 2016. 7(2): 234-243.

Pluhařová E., Slavíček P., Jungwirth. P. Modeling Photoionization of Aqueous DNA and Its Components. Accounts of Chemical Research. 2015. 48(5): 1209-1217.

Slavíček P., Winter B., Cederbaum L.S., Kryzhevoi N.V. Proton-Transfer Mediated Enhancement of Nonlocal Electronic Relaxation Processes in X-ray Irradiated Liquid Water. Journal of the American Chemical Society. 2014. 136(52): 18170-18176.

Thürmer S., Ončák M., Ottosson N., Seidel R., Hergenhanhn U., Bradforth S.E., Slavíček P., Winter B. On the nature and origin of dicationic charge-separated species formed in liquid water on X-ray irradiation. Nature Chemistry. 2013. 5(7): 590-596.

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Soft Matter Chemistry

Experimental investigation of smart soft matter (e.g., soft material in aqueous solutions) with atomistic detail is only possible with the help of highly-resolved spectroscopic techniques, such as NMR, X-ray, electrons or neutrons. These are readily available at open-access large-scale facilities around Europe (Grenoble, German beam-line networks, etc.) also including those located in the Czech Republic (CEITEC in Brno, ELI in Prague).

The junior researcher is expected to investigate soft matter systems employing highly-resolved spectroscopic and other advanced physico-chemical techniques of her/his expertise, and to (co-)formulate her/his own research project in the above described field. This may include a collaboration with established soft matter groups at UCT Prague ranging from material development and characterization, to theoretical modelling and computer simulations of soft matter.

The junior researcher should benefit from a tight collaboration with the group of the mentor, which has expertise in the investigation of soft matter by means of atomistic computer simulations, statistical thermodynamics based models, and thermodynamic experiments.

Main objectives

  • From a research group with the focus on advanced experimental characterization of soft matter.
  • Be willing to experimentally support and complement the work of established soft matter groups at the UCT Prague.
  • Keep and strengthen the external collaboration with foreign groups of her/his scientific field.
  • Be active in (co)-applying for the external funding at the national or international level.

Mentor: Dr. Jan Heyda, jan.heyda@vscht.cz, www, Researcher ID (WoS): G-5285-2014

Heyda J., Okur H.I., Hladílková J., Rembert K.B., Hunn W., Yang T., Dzubiella J., Jungwirth P., Cremer P.S. Guanidinium can both Cause and Prevent the Hydrophobic Collapse of Biomacromolecules. Journal of the American Chemical Society. 2017. 139(2): 863-870.

Zhao Q., Heyda J., Dzubiella J., Täuber K., Dunlop J.W.C., Yuan J. Sensing Solvents with Ultrasensitive Porous Poly(ionic liquid) Actuators. Advanced Materials. 2015. 27(18): 2913-2917.

Zhao Q., Dunlop JWC., Qiu X., Huang F., Zhang Z., Heyda J., Dzubiella J., Antonietti M., Yuan J. An instant multi-responsive porous polymer actuator driven by solvent molecule sorption. Nature Communications. 2014. 5: 4293.

Heyda J., Dzubiella J. Thermodynamic Description of Hofmeister Effects on the LCST of Thermosensitive Polymers. The Journal of Physical Chemistry B. 2014. 118(37): 10979-10988.

Rembert K.B., Paterova J., Heyda J., Hilty C., Jungwirth P., Cremer P.S. Molecular Mechanisms of Ion-Specific Effects on Proteins. Journal of the American Chemical Society. 2012. 134(24): 10039-10046.

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Updated: 10.10.2017 14:04, Author: Marika Kůrová

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