PhD Student in Cancer Vaccine Research Project

CIRES GmbH (Bochum) is an innovative biotechnology company located in the BioMedizinZentrum Bochum, on the Campus of the Ruhr-Universität. CIRES is engaged in the development of novel adjuvants for application in powerful prophylactic vaccines and in novel therapeutic cancer vaccines. CIRES cooperates with CyTuVax BV and AdjuTec BV in Maastricht in the development of a pancreatic cancer vaccination therapy (PanCaVax). Clinical partners are RWTH Uniklinik Aachen and Maastricht University Medical Center.
Patients diagnosed with pancreatic cancer face a very poor perspective. Only 25% of the patients will survive the next 12 months, and 6% will be alive 5 years after diagnosis. This hopeless situation is our motivation to develop a personalized pancreatic cancer vaccination therapy. The concept is based on a patent-protected powerful adjuvant and a personalized vaccine target of antigens specifically expressed by the patient’s tumor cells. The goal is to tackle both the primary tumor and tumor metastases, which will substantially improve survival of the patients.
For this challenging and exciting development, CIRES offers positions for dedicated PhD Students interested in research projects for the preclinical and clinical development of vaccines.
CIRES GmbH                                                                             
BioMedizinZentrum Bochum                                                        
Universitätsstrasse 136                                                               
D-44799 Bochum                                                                         
Frank W. Falkenberg, PhD,
Professor of Immunology
Geschäftsführer CIRES GmbH, Scientific Director CyTuVax B.V.

Activities and responsibilities

The applicant (female/male) will be part of the European PanCaVax development team, together with scientists from CIRES, CyTuVax, MUMC Maastricht and RWTH Uniklinik Aachen and work on the preclinical development of vaccines in murine model cancers. The action of depot-formulated cytokines as vaccine adjuvants will be investigated in prophylactic and therapeutic vaccines in mice applying bacterial and viral antigens and cancer neo-antigens from the spectrum of murine and human mutanom neo-antigens. During the further course of the research project, the vaccine formulations developed in murine models will be adapted for manufacturing patient-specific cancer vaccines under GMP.
Further, methods for immunological monitoring of the immune response of the vaccinated animals will be developed and adapted for application in the treated patients.

Qualification profile

The applicant (female/male) should have a good to excellent Master's degree in the Biological Sciences (Biology, Biochemistry, Biomedicine, Biotechnology).
Applicants should have working experience and perfect technical skills in the field of Molecular Biology.
Pre-Universitary education as Technician (BTA, MTA, CTA) will be considered advantageous.
Experience in the field of Immunology is also advantageous but will anyhow be acquired during research work (Professor Falkenberg is an Immunologist).
Participants will receive a comprehensive education in Immunology during their PhD work.
Animal experimentation is an important and indispensible part of the planned research work. Education and experience in animal experimentation (FELASA B) are therefore advantageous, but can also be acquired during the planned research work. Cross-border cooperation with institutions in the Netherlands, especially with CyTuVax B.V. ( in Maastricht, will be part of the Research plan. Therefore, fluency in written and spoken English is required.


CIRES GmbH is a privately owned Company.
CIRES' laboratories in the BioMedizinZentrum Bochum are new and equipped with all the equipment required for the work to be done.
Animal experiments will be done in the Animal Facilities of the Medical Faculty of the Ruhr-Universität (in walking distance) .
The Ruhr-Universität with all relevant faculties (Medicine, Biology and Chemistry/Biochemistry) and supplementary Institutions (Library, Mensa) are all in walking distance from the BioMedizinZentrum.
Payment complies with the payment modalities as executed at German Universities for PhD students (TV-L E13, 50%).
The contract will be limited to 2 years, with a planned extension for 1-2 additional years.

Send application to

Applications should be sent as soon as possible by email to:
Frank W. Falkenberg, PhD
Applicants will be invited to interviews soon after receipt of the application.

Applications should contain:
C.V., certificates of bachelor and of Master Degrees
certificates concerning participation in special courses
applicants (female/male) with a pre-Universitary education as Technician (BTA, MTA, CTA) should add the corresponding certificates.
if available: list of publications

postal address of Dr. Falkenberg:
Dr. Frank W. Falkenberg
BioMedizinZentrum Bochum,
Universitätsstraße 136
D-44799 Bochum

While applying for the job please refer to jobvector

About CIRES cell + immune research services GmbH

CIRES führt im Kundenauftrag Forschungs- und Entwicklungsvorhaben durch in den Feldern: - Immunologie allgemein - Hybridomtechnik - Antikörper-Produktion und Modifikation - Untersuchungen an Vakzinen und Adjuvantien (präklinisch)

More about CIRES cell + immune research services GmbH