Two PhD scholarships in Transporter Protein Engineering

Tuesday 14 Sep 21

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The Yeast Metabolic Engineering group develops novel yeast cell factories to produce sustainable chemicals and natural products. We apply advanced genome editing, metabolic modeling, transporter engineering, and 'omic data analyses for data-guided strain design. We are looking for two motivated, talented PhD students to join our team to study small metabolite transport via transporter proteins. One PhD student will research cell-free transporter protein expression and functional characterization using state-of-the-art electrophysiological methods. Another PhD student will apply transporter expression in Xenopus laevis oocytes to study the transport of small metabolites. Both PhD students will apply the knowledge they gain on the transporter proteins to improve yeast cell factories for sustainable production of natural products.

Responsibilities and qualifications
In close collaboration with other group members, you will study small metabolite transport using cell-free or Xenopus oocyte systems. You will use state-of-the-art solid-supported membrane-based electrophysiology (SURFE2R system from Nanion Technologies) or mass-spec methods to characterize transporter proteins for substrate specificity and kinetics. You will employ advanced genome editing to engineer the transporters in yeast cell factories.

Specific tasks:

  • Literature review, hypotheses formulation, and experimental design
  • Wet lab work with molecular biology, in-vitro transcription, and translation
  • Reporting results in peer-reviewed publications and presentations at conferences and meetings
  • Collaboration within the group and within the center, participation in international collaborations and outreach activities.

The PhD study also comprises courses equivalent to 30 ECTS credits and an international secondment of 3-6 months duration.

The candidate should have a Master's degree in engineering/biology/biotechnology or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to the Master's degree.

Solid knowledge and hands-on experience with molecular biology techniques, cloning, and bioinformatics are required. Prior experience with some of the following methods is a plus: Xenopus expression, transporter characterization by electrophysiological methods, recombinant protein production and purification, cell-free in vitro protein synthesis.

Further requirements:

  • Excellent track record of early scientific achievements (awards, scholarships, internships, contributions to publications, or similar)
  • Ability to work independently, to plan and carry out complicated research tasks, and to report results in oral and written forms
  • Team spirit and excellent collaboration skills
  • Strong analytical skills and excellent judgment ability
  • Excellent communication skills, fluent written and oral scientific English
  • Well-organized, efficient, result-oriented, have excellent record-keeping abilities.

Approval and Enrolment
The scholarship for the PhD degree is subject to academic approval, and the candidate will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes at DTU. For information about our enrolment requirements and the general planning of the PhD study programme, please see the DTU PhD Guide.

Assessment
The assessment of the applicants will be made by an assessment committee headed by Prof. Irina Borodina.

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 appointment terms
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. The period of employment is 3 years.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here.

Further information
Further information may be obtained from Dr. Iben Møller-Hansen, Tel: +45 9351 0776, E-mail: ibemol@biosustain.dtu.dk and Dr. Fang Dong, Tel: +4915257512840, E-mail: fdong@biosustain.dtu.dk.

You can read more about The Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Biosustainability at https://www.biosustain.dtu.dk/

If you are applying from abroad, you may find useful information on working in Denmark and at DTU at DTU – Moving to Denmark.

Application
Please submit your online application no later than 15 October 2021 (Danish time).

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:

  • A letter motivating the application (cover letter)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma
  • Excel sheet with translation of grades to the Danish grading system (see guidelines and Excel spreadsheet here)

You may apply prior to ob­tai­ning your master's degree but cannot begin before having received it.

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

The Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Biosustainability (DTU Biosustain)
Recent progress in our ability to read and write genomic code, combined with advances in automation, analytics and data science, has fundamentally changed the scope and ambition of harnessing the potential of biological systems. Big data approaches and analysis of biological systems are key research instruments at the Center. DTU Biosustain utilizes these advances for microbial cell factory design to foster sustainable lifestyles in relation to three application areas: Sustainable Chemicals, Natural Products, and Microbial Foods.

Technology for people
DTU develops technology for people. With our international elite research and study programmes, we are helping to create a better world and to solve the global challenges formulated in the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Hans Christian Ørsted founded DTU in 1829 with a clear vision to develop and create value using science and engineering to benefit society. That vision lives on today. DTU has 12,900 students and 6,000 employees. We work in an international atmosphere and have an inclusive, evolving, and informal working environment. DTU has campuses in all parts of Denmark and in Greenland, and we collaborate with the best universities around the world.