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Postdoctoral scholarship (2 years) within chemical glycobiology / bioorganic chemistry

Umeå University (KBC)
Umeå, Sweden
350 000 SEK/year
Closing date
23 Aug 2024

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Job Type
Employment - Hours
Full time
Fixed term

Job Details

The Department of Chemistry, Umeå University is offering a postdoctoral scholarship within the project “Chemical tools to study glycopeptidase mucin degradation”. The scholarship is full-time for two years with access in the second half of 2024, or by agreement. Last day to apply is 2024-08-30.

Project description

Mucins are highly glycosylated proteins that cover epithelial tissues in both a membrane bound and secreted form. The secreted mucins are major components of the protective mucus barrier. Even if the majority of invading pathogens are cleared by the mucus, bacteria and viruses have co-evolved with the human host and developed strategies to escape our immune system and penetrate the mucus barrier and thereby cause inflammation and infection of the host tissue. Within this project, you will develop chemical tools to study glycopeptidase mucin degradation.

The Postdoc project will involve oligosaccharide and glycopeptide synthesis with the aim to study the dynamics and interplay between host mucin glycans and bacteria to further explore the cause of inflammation and disease in the gut. Synthesis methodology will be developed to prepare mucin O-glycans and glycopeptides, including development of new protecting group chemistry and fluorophore bioorthogonal glycopeptide labelling. Microarray methodology will be applied to study binding events of bacteria lectins (carbohydrate binding proteins), mucinase carbohydrate binding domains using synthetic glycopeptides. A fluorescence based assay will be developed to screen mucinase glycopeptidase activity on the microarray chip.

Methods that the postdoctoral fellow will apply include synthesis of glycosylated amino acids, synthesis of glycopeptides by automated Fmoc-solid phase peptide synthesis (Fmoc-SPPS), enzymatic synthesis and protecting group chemistry. Fluorophore bioorthogonal labeling will also be done. Silica column chromatography, analytical and preparative HPLC-separation, NMR spectroscopy and mass spectrometry will commonly be applied for purification and characterization of the prepared molecules. Microarray analysis will be applied for efficient mapping of glycan-protein binding events and development of the glycopeptidase assay.

The initial part of the project relies heavily on carbohydrate and bioorganic chemistry, which means that a successful candidate should have expertise in this field.

The tax-free stipend is SEK 350 000 per year and is funded by the Kempe Foundations.


To qualify as a postdoctoral scholarship holder, the postdoctoral fellow is required to have completed a doctoral degree or a foreign degree deemed equivalent to a doctoral degree. This qualification requirement must be fulfilled no later than at the time of the decision about scholarship recipient.

Priority should be given to candidates who completed their doctoral degree, according to what is stipulated in the paragraph above, no later than three years prior. If there are special reasons, candidates who completed their doctoral degree prior to that may also be eligible. Special reasons include absence due to illness, parental leave, appointments of trust in trade union organizations, military service, or similar circumstances, as well as clinical practice or other forms of appointment/assignment relevant to the subject area.

Doctoral degree should be within carbohydrate synthesis, bioorganic chemistry, medicinal chemistry, chemical biology, or another relevant field.

Additional requirements are:
A successful candidate should preferably have a strong background in carbohydrate chemistry.

Meriting criteria are:
Experience in glycopeptide synthesis or microarray analysis is meriting but not a requirement.

We are looking for candidates who are driven and interested in both carbohydrate/glycopeptide synthesis and biological applications thereof.


A full application should include:

  • A cover letter summarizing your qualifications, scientific interests, and why you are applying for the position (max 1 page),
  • Curriculum vitae (CV) with publication list,
  • Copy of doctoral degree certificate or documentation that clarifies when the degree of doctor is expected to be obtained,
  • Copies of other diplomas, list of completed academic courses and grades,
  • Copy of doctoral thesis and up to 3 relevant articles,
  • Other documents that the applicant wishes to claim,
  • Contact information to two persons willing to act as references.

The application should be written in English (preferably) or Swedish. Your complete application, marked with reference number FS 2.1.6-1228-24, should be sent electronically (in PDF format) to (with the reference number on the subject line). The closing date is 2024-08-30.

More information

Further details are provided by Ulrika Westerlind, PhD,

About us

The Department of Chemistry is one of the largest departments within the Faculty of Science and Technology with approximately 200 employees and strong and expanding research. The Department has four major research areas: Biological Chemistry, IBEAM, Organic Chemistry and Technical Chemistry. We are also a strong partner in the KBC, Chemical Biological Centre.

At Umeå University, everything is nearby. Our cohesive campus environment makes it easy to meet, collaborate and exchange knowledge, which promotes a dynamic and open culture where we rejoice in each other’s successes. If you are interested in knowing about Umeå University as a workplace, read more at:

Umeå University also offers a strong postdoc community with the Umeå Postdoc Society (UPS), which fosters networking among postdocs, organises social and career development events and works towards improving the postdoc experience at the Umeå campus. Check out their website: and do not hesitate to get in contact with them early on!

We welcome your application!


Umeå University is one of Sweden’s largest institutions of higher education with over 36,000 students and 4,100 faculty and staff. We are characterised by world-leading research in several scientific fields, and a multitude of educations ranked highly in international comparison. Umeå University is also the site of the pioneering discovery of the CRISPR-Cas9 genetic scissors - a revolution in genetic engineering that has been awarded the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

Company info
Umeå University

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