Master Thesis / Internship "Process intensification for cell culture based virus production in bioreactors"

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:

“Process intensification for cell culture based virus production in bioreactors”

Activities and responsibilities

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, promising applications as viral vectors for gene therapy were found when using adenoviruses, adeno-associated viruses or modified vaccinia Ankara viruses. Ideally, viral vaccines and viral vectors should be produced employing modern production technology with animal cell culture. The virus is produced using immortalized suspension animal cells such as CHO, MDCK, HEK293 or avian cell lines, growing in chemically-defined medium in stirred-tank bioreactors.
To answer to an ever increasing demand of vaccines and viral vectors for gene therapies, production process intensification through high cell density perfusion cultivations could be a solution. To achieve high cell densities, a cell retention device allowing continuous virus harvest was successfully tested at our institute. However, several aspects regarding the virus production need further development and optimization:
  • Upstream bioprocess parameters optimization
  • Cell retention parameters optimization
  • Perfusion feeding strategy development through down-scaled models
  • Virus stability assessment (for further downstream applications)

Qualification 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


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.

Send application to

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

Gwendal Gränicher
Phone: +49 391 6110 333

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.

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About Max Planck Institute for Dynamics of Complex Dynamical Systems

In 1996 the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics of Complex Technical Systems was established. The founding director is Prof. em. Dr.-Ing. Ernst Dieter Gilles. The institute in Magdeburg is the first institute of the Max Planck Society dedicated to the engineering sciences and is intended to bridge the gap between basic research and industrial applications. At present 240 employees are...

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