PhD scholarship in establishing non-conventional yeasts as superior cell factories for recombinant protein production from complex feedstocks

mandag 11 jan 21

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Frist 25. januar 2021
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You will be part of the AIM-Bio Initiative, which is funded by the Novo Nordisk Foundation.

The AIM-Bio Initiative is a collaboration between DTU and BTEC at North Carolina State University. It offers research-based education in accelerated biomanufacturing of biotherapeutics, from upstream to downstream, for Master- and PhD- students, and professionals.

Your new workplace will be Department of Biotechnology and Biomedicine, section of Synthetic Biology working with genome editing, synthetic biology, regulation engineering, protein production, discovery of novel cell factories and fermentation technology. The section has a total staff of approx. 45, of which 9 is faculty.

Responsibilities and qualifications
The project aims to develop HT-screening and engineering strategies, as well as bioprocess optimization strategies, in order to establish a set of selected non-conventional yeasts as superior producers of recombinant proteins: more robust and able to utilize more efficiently complex feedstocks than the classical production workhorses.

In this project, you will:

  • Screen international strain collections by using advanced robotics.
  • Use micro-fermentation systems for initial assessment of superior production systems.
  • Perform multi-omics analyses to identify potential bottlenecks in the production / secretion pathways.
  • Design upscaling strategies using lab-scale and pre-pilot scale highly instrumented bioreactors

We are looking for a candidate with a solid background in:

  • State-of-the-art molecular biology / synthetic biology of yeast
  • Fermentation technology
  • HT microfermentation and automation (e.g. ROTOR, BioLector, or similar).
  • Recombinant protein production
  • Yeast physiology (previous experience with non-conventional yeasts is a plus)

We expect that you are an efficient team worker, have good communication skills, and have a critical approach to the formulation and testing of hypotheses. Also, a good sense of humour will be appreciated.

You must have a two-year master's degree in engineering (120 ECTS points) or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to a two-year master's degree.

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 the applicants will be made by Associate Professor José Luis Martínez Ruiz (DTU Bioengineering) and approved by an internal PhD assessment committee.

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 Associate Professor José Luis Martínez Ruiz (

You can read more about DTU Bioengineering 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
Your complete online application must be submitted no later than 25 January 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 Department of Biotechnology and Biomedicine (DTU Bioengineering) conducts research, educates future bio-engineers, provides scientific advice and innovate within the areas of microbiology, biochemistry, biotechnology and biomedicine. The research at DTU Bioengineering is at the highest international level and focuses on the societal and scientific challenges within the field. Research is conducted within three main areas: Microbial ecology and physiology, Industrial biotechnology and cell factories, and Biomedicine and health. The department has extensive collaboration with national and international research units and industries. DTU Bioengineering has approx. 160 employees, of which 2/3 is scientific staff and is expanding rapidly in 2020. The department is located at DTU Lyngby Campus.

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.