Postdoctoral position in Protein Structure Engineering Related to Evolutionary Biology

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The Technical University of Denmark

DTU Biosustain announces a vacancy in the Bacterial Signal Transduction group headed by Professor Ivan Mijakovic. We are a bacteriology laboratory, working with a broad range of topics, encompassing basic research on bacterial physiology and evolution, and more applied fields such as metabolic engineering of cell factories and developing new anti-infection approaches.
This particular position is related to a basic science project on evolutionary biology, where we wish to address some fundamental questions pertaining to molecular evolution of early cells. In particular, we aim to create specific protein-protein complexes by engineering protein-protein interaction surfaces. These complexes will be engineered to perform specific biosynthetic reactions, and will be tested and optimized in vitro.

Responsibilities and tasks
The successful candidate will first be expected to familiarize with the evolutionary hypothesis on which the project is based. Thereafter, the candidate will be expected to examine a number of different protein structures and independently devise a strategy for placing those in complexes based on engineering artificial protein-protein interaction surfaces and linker domains. Further work will encompass testing the efficiency of different reactions coupled to the complex, and devising strategies for further improvement via engineering of enzyme active sites.

Candidates should have a PhD degree or equivalent.

The work will be ideally suited for a biochemist or a structural biologist with extensive experience in visualizing, modelling and engineering protein structures. The candidate is expected to have a keen interest in fundamental science and a sufficient drive to independently pursue a high risk-high gain type of project. Experience with protein structures and motivation to address fundamental questions of evolutionary science are the key requirements for this position. There is no age limit for the position, so more experienced researchers are welcome and encouraged to apply. Demonstrated scientific independence is a prerequisite for this position, i.e. successful publication track record on topic(s) other than that developed during the candidate’s PhD studies. Fluency in English, excellent communication and collaborations skills, as well as independence in paper and project writing are necessary prerequisites.

We offer
DTU is a leading technical university globally recognized for the excellence of its research, education, innovation and scientific advice. We offer a rewarding and challenging job in an international environment. We strive for academic excellence in an environment characterized by collegial respect and academic freedom tempered by responsibility.

Salary and terms of employment
The appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed upon with the relevant union.

Tentative start date 1st of January 2019.

The period of employment is for 2,5 years.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here

Further information
Further information may be obtained from Ivan Mijakovic

You can read more about Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Biosustainability on

Application procedure
Please submit your online application no later than 2 December 2018.

Applications must be submitted as one PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link “Apply online”, fill out the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one PDF file. The file must include:

  • Application (cover letter)
  • CV
  • Diploma (MSc/PhD)
  • List of publications

Applications and enclosures received after the deadline will not be considered.

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, disability, race, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.

DTU Biosustain is an international research center of excellence developing next generation cell factories and bioprocesses for sustainable production of high-value chemical compounds as well as protein-based products. The center uses advanced metabolic engineering techniques and computational biology ensuring efficient and cost-effective design and construction processes.
The center’s activities are a balanced mix of basic and translational research, complemented by an emphasis on business development to facilitate commercialization of new cell factories and associated technologies. DTU Biosustain offers state-of-the-art research facilities and assembles world leaders in the field thus offering a unique platform providing excellent talent development and career opportunities.

DTU is a technical university providing internationally leading research, education, innovation and scientific advice. Our staff of 6,000 advance science and technology to create innovative solutions that meet the demands of society, and our 11,200 students are being educated to address the technological challenges of the future. DTU is an independent academic university collaborating globally with business, industry, government and public agencies.

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