PhD scholarship in the discovery and engineering of oxidoreductase for the conversion of biomass recalcitrant polysaccharides

Friday 18 Dec 20

Apply for this job

Apply no later than 31 January 2021
Apply for the job at DTU Bioengineering by completing the following form.

Apply online

A PhD position is available in the Protein Glycoscience and Biotechnology group, Protein Chemistry and Enzyme Technology section, Department of Biotechnology and Biomedicine. One research focus area of this group, headed by Prof. Maher Abou Hachem, is the discovery and biotechnological applications of oxidoreductases.

The PhD research project is a collaboration with the lab of Jean Guy Berrin (INRA, Aix-Marseille University Marseille, France), who are leading experts in fungal bioamss active enzymes. The project goal the discovery and engineering of carbohydrate active FAD-dependant oxidoreductases for applications within biomass processing.

Responsibilities and tasks
This position is the right one, if you:

  • Are talented, very ambitious and hard-working student, striving for excellence
  • Appreciate working on a high impact collaborative project with potential to address a global sustainability challenge
  • Enjoy good collaborations, and the relaxed atmosphere in our group and section

Your tasks will be to:

  • Based on sequence analyses, select new flavo-enzyme candidates for expression, enzymatic and electrochemical characterisation
  • Determine the crystal structures of relevant enzymes and combine with bioinformatics to decode their mode of action
  • Rational engineering of selected enzymes and evaluation of the engineered variants
  • Scientific, dissemination and collaboration activities related to the project
  • Take part in teaching and supervision within protein chemistry and enzymology

Candidates should have a two-year master's degree (120 ECTS points) or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to a two-year master's degree.

Ideal candidates:

  • Outstanding academic record with background in biochemistry, chemistry, protein chemistry, biotechnology or related relevant study programmes.
  • Background in (flavo-)enzymology especially (electro-)chemistry are key prerequisite for the position
  • Experience in carbohydrate chemistry and analytical techniques, such as HPAEC-PAD, MALDI-TOF, cyclic voltammetry and structural biology are major advantages
  • A basic background in bioinformatics is necessary
  • Knowledge within protein modelling/docking is a good asset
  • Drive, motivation, an eye for details, and ability to tackle multiple subprojects without losing focus are very important personal attributes.

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.

The assessment of candidates will be made by Profs Maher Abou Hachem and Jens Preben Morth and Dr. Michael Jakob Pichler.

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.

The work will be mainly carried out at the DTU Lyngby campus, but research exchange stay(s) to the labs of international collaboration partners may take place as relevant in the project.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here.

Further information
Further information may be obtained from Maher Abou Hachem, tel.: +45 4525 2732, e-mail:

You can read more about the Department of Biotechnology and Biomedicine at and about the PCET section at

Please submit your online application no later than 31 January 2021 (Danish time). The project is expected to start 1st March 2021 or close to this 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)
  • List of publications if any
  • References

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

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

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

DTU Bioengineering (Department of Biotechnology and Biomedicine) is an important contributor to the areas of biotechnology, food technology and human health, through the advances we make in research, technology and innovation and through the training and education of first-class MScs and PhDs in bio-engineering.

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 12,000 students and 6,000 employees. We work in an international atmosphere and have an inclusive, evolving, and informal working environment. Our main campus is in Kgs. Lyngby north of Copenhagen and we have campuses in Roskilde and Ballerup and in Sisimiut in Greenland.