Prof. Dr. Rob Leurs

Full professor of Medicinal Chemistry, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam


About Rob Leurs

Prof.dr. Rob Leurs ( is a full professor of Medicinal Chemistry at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam in the Netherlands.


His research team covers area’s in molecular and cellular pharmacology with a focus on GPCRs and phosphordiesterases, drug design and synthesis and computation drug discovery. Lately, the group has focused e.g. on new concepts of photopharmacology and the development of new drugs against Neglected Tropical Diseases, malaria and cancer.

He published over 350 articles in international peer-reviewed academic journals, applied for several patents, is an elected member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences and founder and director of a small startup company in the area of drug discovery.

Potential Ph.D. topics

  • Design and Synthesis of new photoswitchable GPCR ligands for students with a background in Chemistry and interest in GPCR drug discovery.
  • Biased GPCR signaling by GPCR isoforms in order to develop more selective GPCR therapeutics for students with a background in molecular and cellular pharmacology.
  • Virtual screening for new GPCR ligands for students with a background in Computational Sciences and interest in drug discovery.
  • Expression and characterization of parasitic phosphodiesterases for hit finding in Neglected Tropical Diseases and/or the design and synthesis of new inhibitors for parasitic PDEs for students with a background in Chemistry and/or interest in drug discovery biology.
  • Targeting GPCRs in Schistosomiasis for students with a background in Chemistry and/or interest in drug discovery biology.

Further information and contacts

Come and meet us

For contact please mail me at and, if needed, we can get in touch already via Skype or Zoom.

For more information about our doctoral programs and all relevant information please download our PhD Brochure 2020 or check our website. You can also always email Sandra Hasanefendic, PhD (Director International PhD Recruitment, marketing and promotion) at for expression of interest and personal support in the process of application.

If you would like to discuss the opportunity of doing a PhD at the VU Amsterdam please feel free to make an appointment or send an e-mail. We are also open for possibilities of double and joined PhD degrees.

Check our website