Analytical Chemistry Research Assistant (Fall 2018 Position)
Position Role: Research
Position Level: Internship
Position Type: Contract
Position Location: Guelph, ON
Application Deadline: 2018-07-02
This position is offered in part by the MaRS Student Work-Integrated Learning (WIL) Program, which connects post-secondary students with work placements in technology and business.
Position Start Date: September 3, 2018
Position End Date: December 21, 2018
Glysantis (Mirexus Biotechnologies Inc.) is a biotech company active in pre-clinical research & development. Our core technology – NanoDendrixTM – is based on highly branched, plant-derived phytoglycogen nanoparticles. NanoDendrixTM particles are monodisperse (uniform in size), water soluble, all-natural and biodegradable, non-toxic, and have tunable surface chemistry allowing for desirable modifications. The company’s mission is to transfer our innovative nanoparticle platform technology to a wide range of biomedical applications.
Our company offers a diverse team of supportive and close-knit employees (<30 people), with areas of expertise in fields including microbiology, molecular biology, physics, food science, nanoscience, chemistry, cosmetics, business development, etc.). Since most employees at Glysantis/Mirexus have a strong background in science, the company hosts events including “business- like thinking day”, which allows all employees and students to discuss topics outside their field of focus, such as aspects of marketing, business development, sales, and how our company is doing in each of these areas. Growth and success stories (e.g. forming collaborations with international distributors) are also shared at monthly town hall meetings. Mirexus has expanded to build a factory, and we are moving into our new facility this year (April-May 2018).
Glysantis, Chemistry Department:
The person hired to this position will join a team of multi-disciplinary researchers, who will provide one-on-one feedback and suggestions for project advancement at weekly group meetings. Current work at Glysantis can be classified into three main areas: immunomodulation, drug delivery, and anti-infectives. In addition to in-house laboratory facilities in Ontario, Glysantis has partnerships with commercial research organizations and academic collaborations with researchers from Canadian as well as international universities.
In this project, the degrees of derivatization of chemically modified phytoglycogen to be used in immunomodulation, drug delivery, and anti-infectives work will be determined. Although many products have been readily quantifiable using standard NMR or colorimetric methods, certain derivatives have been challenging to quantify by these means. As such, titration techniques (conductometric and potentiometric titrations) will be used to assign the degree of derivatizations in these materials. Other analysis, including moisture analysis (Karl-Fisher titration), thermal stability or degredation profiles (differential scanning calorimetry, thermogravimetric analysis) will be performed in parallel to better understand the nanomaterials’ properties.
The student will specialize in the use of titration equipment including conductometric and potentiometric auto-titrators, Karl-Fisher titrators, and DLS-autotitration instrumentation (i.e. measurement of size and surface charge of nanoparticles at various pH or ionic strength), and analyze this data to help quantify the amount of functional groups present in chemically modified phytoglycogen particles which cannot be characterized by other conventional means. The student will use programs such as Excel to calculate the degree of modifications and report these findings to Glysantis both in written reports and oral presentations.
- Use of Excel, Word and PowerPoint
- Previous project work in a chemistry lab.
Area of Study:
Chemistry, biochemistry, nanotechnology
Familiarity with standard lab techniques (e.g. pipetting, centrifugation) and lab safety (i.e. WHMIS) is required.
The applicant will be detail-oriented and conscientious, with strong record keeping skills, the ability to think critically and work with minimal supervision, and to effectively communicate observations and findings.
How to Apply: