Postdoctoral researcher: animal models to study host-microbiota interactions

Monday 16 May 22

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The Novo Nordisk Foundation Centre for Biosustainability invites applicants for a post doctorial associate position in the Bacterial Synthetic Biology section led by Professor Morten Sommer at the Technical University of Denmark.

Advances in synthetic biology have provided the means to modify probiotic and commensal microbes to enhance their natural abilities and for drug delivery applications. We have different projects in our group using genetically engineered microbes to deliver therapeutics in situ. The focus of the present position is to evaluate the efficacy of microbiome therapies in animal models (mice and rats).  

The project relates to a center grant obtained by the group to use synthetic biology to develop engineered bacterial therapeutics. The center comprises multiple groups spanning preclinical to clinical research and has as a goal to test these novel synthetic biology interventions in animal models and human clinical trials.

The principal supervisors will be Prof. Morten Otto Alexander Sommer and Dr. Ruben Vazquez Uribe in the Bacterial Synthetic Biology section at the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Biosustainability.

Responsibilities and qualifications
Your main experimental task will revolve around setting up and carrying out in vivo experiments using animal models to evaluate the efficacy of novel microbial therapies.

You shall work independently on the development of high impact research projects. Accordingly, a significant workload is expected to advance projects successfully.

The candidate will work in a team to develop their independent project, while also contributing to projects of other team members.

The candidate will be responsible for the execution of all aspects of the project including both experimental and computational tasks; however, support is available for all aspects from fellow lab members.

Candidates should have a PhD degree or equivalent and ample experience working with animal models, primarily mice and rats.

Overall a preferred applicant has excellent academic track record, solid research experience and is highly motivated towards developing new technology and making scientific breakthroughs.

In addition, you must have the following qualifications:

  • FELASA C / EU function ABD are required or must be obtained shortly after starting the position.
  • You have experience or interest in surgery in mice/rats
  • You have a proven track record within research in animal models, primarily mice and rats.
  • You have demonstrated an early capacity for innovation and excellence in your career
  • You have strong work ethics
  • You thrive on collaboration and teamwork
  • Candidates with experience working in microbiome research and/or synthetic biology is a plus.

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.

Most of the activities will be conducted at DTU. The period of employment will end 31.03.2024 without further notice.

Expected starting date (flexible): Latest September 1st 2022

You can read more about career paths at DTU here.

Further information
Further information may be obtained from Prof. Morten Sommer and Dr. Ruben Vazquez Uribe, email:  and . Please do not send applications to this e-mail address, instead apply online as described below.

You can read more about The Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Biosustainability on and about the research group at

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

Application procedure
Please submit your online application no later than 30 June 2022 (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:

  • 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.

The Bacterial Synthetic Biology section at the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Biosustainability studies the organization and dynamics of microbial populations and communities as they relate to human health and industrial biotechnology. We develop and apply novel technologies within the fields of systems biology, computational biology, functional metagenomics, synthetic biology, lab evolution to study:

  • Microbiome therapeutics
  • Sustainable food production
  • Antibiotic resistance and collateral sensitivity
  • Population heterogeneity in industrial bioprocesses

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 13,400 students and 5,800 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.