Head of Unit Therapeutic Protein Engineering


Application deadline

December 20, 2023

Head of Unit Therapeutic Protein Engineering (Researcher)

School of Engineering Sciences in Chemistry, Biotechnology and Health at KTH

Job description

The Drug Discovery and Development platform at Science for Life Laboratory (SciLifeLab DDD) is a national infrastructure for academic drug discovery with the goal of translating academic discoveries into drug candidates and commercialization. The platform has existed for nearly ten years, contributing to more than ten new startups and four compounds in clinical trials. It comprises over 40 staff distributed to six universities and runs projects in collaboration with academic principal investigators from all over Sweden.

Due to retirements and an increased focus on multifunctional protein therapeutics, the two high-performing units located at KTH and Lund University will now be restructured, and we are looking for new Heads of Units.

The unit “Therapeutic Protein Engineering” (TPE) is localized at SciLifeLab, Solna. It will consist of six senior researchers with support from two platform scientific directors (professor level). The unit’s primary responsibility will be to deliver well characterized recombinant proteins: antibodies, antigens, and target proteins to projects within the platform and manage selection campaigns for the platform. In addition to in-house designed phage display libraries (scFv and Fab), we also use DNA-encoded chemical libraries to identify binders, and we are currently developing a single-domain antibody library. The unit will collaborate closely with the “Display and Selection Technologies” unit consisting of three persons at Lund University. Development activities are focused on designing novel multispecific drug candidates and methods to progress these to protein-based therapeutics.

As Head of the TPE unit, you will be responsible for the overall technical planning to ensure that project-driven activities are delivered according to plans. You will also be responsible for maintaining a creative work environment in the group through a coaching leadership and managing the administrative duties assigned to the unit. You are also key in maintaining close collaboration with the unit at Lund University. Together with the platform scientific directors, you will drive the development of the unit by establishing new methods and techniques, e.g. new formats for multifunctional molecules and conjugates with proximity-induced pharmaceutical effects.

What we offer

  • A position at a leading technical university that generates knowledge and skills for a sustainable future.
  • Engaged and ambitious colleagues along with a creative, international and dynamic working environment
  • Work in Stockholm , in close proximity to nature
  • Help to relocate and be settled in Sweden and at KTH

Read more about what it is like to work at KTH



  • A doctoral degree or corresponding in biotechnology or molecular biology
  • Experience from the biotech/pharma industry or relevant academic environment
  • Proven track record of leadership roles within industry or academia
  • Ability to combine the leadership role with the role of a technical expert.
  • Experience in cross-disciplinary work in a delivery focused setting
  • A pragmatic can-do attitude. Highly motivated to engage in projects formally owned by other parties
  • Great emphasis will be placed on personal skills such as organisational and leadership skills, communication skills, and the ability to manage parallel projects with external partners. 

Preferred qualifications

Experience from:

  • Biophysical and functional characterisation of proteins
  • Selections based strategies for hit identification of proteins or small molecules
  • Bi- or multifunctional antibodies, single domain antibodies, or antibody-drug conjugates
  • Data driven methods (machine learning/AI) to predict structure-function relations
  • Early phase drug discovery in an industry setting
  • Ability to transform scientific findings into innovations
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Experience in developing people

Great emphasis will be placed on personal skills.

Trade union representatives

You will find contact information to trade union representatives at KTH’s webbpage.

To apply for the position

Log into KTH’s recruitment system in order to apply for this position. You are the main responsible to ensure that your application is complete according to the ad. Your complete application must be received at KTH no later than the last day of application.

Your complete application must be received by KTH no later than the last day of application, midnight CET/CEST (Central European Time/Central European Summer Time). 

Last updated: 2023-11-16

Content Responsible: David Gotthold(david.gotthold@scilifelab.se)