Postdoctoral position in enzyme discovery and utilization

Postdoctoral position in enzyme discovery and utilization

Chalmers University of Technology

Gothenburg, Sweden

Information about Wallenberg Wood Science Center

Wallenberg Wood science Center (WWSC) is a research center which started in 2009 and is funded by the Knut and Alice Wallenberg foundation. WWSC is a multidisciplinary collaboration between Chalmers, KTH and Linköping University striving for scientific excellence, and the overall aim is to develop new materials from trees. The mission of the center is to create knowledge and competence to form a basis for innovative future valorization of forest resources. The center organizes biannual interdisciplinary conferences, and has had an annual output of 70-90 publications including many in high-ranked journals. WWSC is currently entering a new stage as it has been funded for 10 additional years – WWSC 2.0.

At Chalmers, WWSC includes principal investigators from the departments of Biology and Biological Engineering, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Microtechnology and Nanoscience, Physics, and Industrial and Materials Science. The research performed spans from development of novel chemical and biological processing techniques for production of wood components, and use of these to construct new exciting materials, such as functional fibers or composites for energy and electronics. Within WWSC, physicists, chemical engineers, physical chemists, material scientists, organic chemists, and biotechnologists are working closely together to join interdisciplinary competences in novel projects.

About Industrial Biotechnology

The post doc position is placed at the Division of Industrial Biotechnology within the Department of Biology and Biological Engineering at Chalmers University of Technology. The Industrial Biotechnology group is a young, dynamic and international group of researchers established in 2008 and counts now around 40 members. The common denominator of the research activities in the group is to optimize the use of renewable raw materials for the sustainable production of fuels, chemicals and materials within the main concept of biorefinery.

The research performed within the group spans from fundamental research, technology development and lab-scale application: this ensures deep knowledge of the studied systems, leading to rational development and optimization of the respective applications. The research fields include production of biofuels and chemicals via fermentation and enzymatic refining of biomass, bioelectrochemical systems and algal biotechnology. The division has an extensive instrument platform for analytics, molecular biology, protein production and purification, fermentation, which are all available for the project.

The project will revolve around discovery of new enzymes from microorganisms able to metabolize biomass components. The enzymes will be utilized both in processing of biomass and in the valorization of its polymers. Fundamental knowledge about the enzymes and their action on biomass is necessary in order to best develop the enzymes as biotechnological tools. In WWSC, we use various -omics techniques to discover new enzymes, which is followed by detailed biochemical characterization. In this project the roles of esterases in soft wood degradation will be explored. Suberin (biopolyesters) and cutin constitute an unexploited plant polymer, where in particular the fatty acids are interesting to exploit. Esterases acting on suberin and cutin will be investigated for their enzymatic properties to understand how these biopolymers can be enzymatically degraded.

Major responsibilities

The majority of your working time will be devoted to your own research studies. As a post doc you are expected to develop your own ideas, drive the project and communicate scientific results orally as well as in writing. In addition, the position will normally include some departmental work. You should take active part in the network and activities WWSC offers.

Position summary

Full-time temporary employment. The position is limited to a maximum of two years (1+1).

Qualifications

The successful candidate holds a PhD degree in biological engineering, biotechnology, biochemistry, microbiology or related fields. Experience in working with carbohydrate-active enzymes, analytical techniques for biomass characterization are merits, as is demonstrated skills in handling large -omics data sets.

A very good capability of communicating scientific results in English, both orally and in writing is required.

Chalmers continuously strives to be an attractive employer. Equality and diversity are substantial foundations in all activities at Chalmers.

Our offer to you

Chalmers offers a cultivating and inspiring working environment in the dynamic city of Gothenburg.

Read more about working at Chalmers and our benefits for employees.

Application procedure

The application should be marked with Ref 20180730 and written in English. The application should be sent electronically and be attached as pdf-files, as below:

CV: (Please name the document as: CV, Surname, Ref. number) including:

  • CV, include complete list of publications
  • Previous teaching and pedagogical experiences
  • Two references that we can contact.

Personal letter: (Please name the document as: Personal letter, Family name, Ref. number) including:

  • 1-3 pages where you introduce yourself and present your qualifications.
  • Previous research fields and main research results.
  • Future goals and research focus. Are there any specific projects and research issues you are primarily interested in?

Other documents:

  • Attested copies of completed education, grades and other certificates.

Please use the button at the foot of the page to reach the application form. The files may be compressed (zipped).

Application deadline: 31 January 2019

For questions, please contact:

Professor Lisbeth Olsson

Email: lisbeth.olsson@chalmers.se

Phone: +46 31 7723805

* Chalmers declines to consider all offers of further announcement publishing or other types of support for the recruiting process in connection with this position. *

Please apply via recruiter’s website.

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