Internships at Intravacc
Please note: we have no internships positions available for the remainder of 2021. You can apply for internships for 2022 from October 2021.
At Intravacc we have often possibilities for internships for relevant ‘MBO’ (post-secondary vocational), ‘HBO’ (higher vocational), or University level.
The practical work of vaccine development is divided in 4 departments. Are you looking for an interesting and challenging internship? Then look below what each department has to offer. If you are interested please send an email to our Human Resources department (firstname.lastname@example.org) and mention the department and expertise you are interested in. In addition mention when and how long you want to have your internship and don’t forget to include your CV. We will let you know if we have availability during the time requested.
Please note that vaccination is required to access the laboratories. The necessary vaccinations will be provided by Intravacc free of charge.
Process Development Bacterial Vaccines
In this department we develop processes for the production of bacterial vaccines. Most bacterial vaccines developed by Intravacc are either outer membrane vesicles vaccines or conjugate vaccines against many different pathogenic microorganisms. During process development we focus on the cultivation of bacteria (upstream processing, USP) and the purification of the vaccine from the culture broth (downstream processing, DSP).
During your internship, you will work with shaker flasks and bioreactors (from 1L to 70L and multi reactor systems) for the USP. For the DSP you will work with centrifugation and filtration techniques. These include dead-end and tangential flow filtration as well as size exclusion chromatography.
For conjugation technologies you will purify polysaccharides and perform chemical reactions to conjugate these polysaccharides to carrier proteins. This work involves analytical equipment like HPLCs.
Process Development Viral Vaccines
This department designs, develops and improves processes for the production of viral vaccines. Disciplines in the department are:
- In silico: mechanistic and statistical modeling for process understanding and reduction of experimental effort.
- Upstream processing (USP): development of culture strategies at a range of scales and operational modes, using several cell lines to produce a number of viruses.
- Bioreactor characterization: understanding the bioreactor mass and energy transfer mechanisms for effective scale up and/or scale down. Assessment of alternative culture systems; and implementation of measures for proper evaluation of bioreactor performance.
- Downstream processing (DSP): design of processes for purification of the target vaccine. This can include testing and optimization of unit operations like filtration, centrifugation, chromatography or inactivation.
- High-throughput process development: use of platform approaches for fast screening and automation of upstream and downstream processes
Internships in this department cover a broad spectrum of activities – ranging from working with cell culture using bioreactors, focusing on purification technologies using Äkta systems and in depth mathematical calculations using specialized software, but also establishing routines for various analysis methods like virus titration and ELISA.
In this department we design, generate and test concept vaccines. We investigate which antigens are suitable to include in a vaccine. This information is combined to design new bacterial, viral or cellular strains using molecular biological techniques. Next, these strains are tested in production processes by the process development departments and then we study the efficacy and safety of these vaccines both in vitro and in vivo, using an array of immunological techniques. Of note, we strive to design new in vitro techniques that can replace animal experiments as much as possible.
Throughout the whole vaccine chain it is important to monitor the feasibility of a concept vaccine from a technical and economical, but also from a regulatory and clinical point of view. Since the product is meant to be used in healthy people, there are many criteria to be met and it is crucial to substantiate which choices have been made and why
Internships in this department relate to strain design and immunology.
Product Characterization and Formulation
This department focuses on the development of analytical tests, stable formulation and appropriate methods for administration of (new) vaccines. There are five expertise groups:
Biomolecular Mass Spectrometry – Mass spectrometry is used to identify and quantify proteins and LPS in vaccines, demonstrate (chemical) modifications in proteins and determine B and T cell epitopes in antigens.
Analytical Biochemistry – A vast array of immunochemical and molecular biological methods are used to identify antigens and determine their concentrations and activity.
Biophysics & Chemistry – The latest chemical synthesis and structural analysis tools are used to create vaccine components and characterize their biophysical properties.
Delivery & Formulation – New vaccines are composed to yield stable products that can be appropriately administered. Formulation of vaccines are investigated as liquid formulations or as solid formulations (freeze-drying, spray drying). Vaccine administration routes such as intranasal, intradermal or oral administration routes are also explored.