Postdoc in Enzymology at TECHNICAL UNIVERSITY OF DENMARK

A Postdoc position is available at the Section for Protein Chemistry & Enzyme Technology. Research in this section aims to attain new knowledge within protein- and enzyme-structure function relations, enzyme-substrate interactions, biocatalytic mechanisms, energy relations and kinetics, and on enzyme-protein robustness and stability.

The research will be conducted in the Interfacial Enzymology Group headed by prof. Peter Westh. The group investigates enzyme reactions that occur at the interface of two immiscible phases; examples include the modification of insoluble substrate and activity of immobilized enzymes. We strive to provide rigorous kinetic descriptions of such processes and to use kinetic and structural knowledge in rational design of improved enzymes for industrial applications.

Responsibilities and tasks 
The main theme of the work will be rational enzyme design. This will involve thorough kinetic characterization of enzyme activity on insoluble substrate as well as analysis and mathematical modelling of the results. The project has special focus on relationships between substrate binding strength and catalytic efficacy, and this includes analysis of so-called Linear Free Energy Relationships and application of the Sabatier Principle. Some relevant models for the analysis of kinetic data have already been developed within the Interfacial Enzymology group, but adaptions as well as implementation of novel model approaches may also be a part of the work. Key elements of the work include: 

  • Experimental characterization of enzyme variants based on e.g.colorimetric, electrochemical and chromatographic methods.
  • Combined analysis of kinetic and structural data for the purpose of elucidating molecular mechanisms and identifying beneficial mutations.
  • Primary focus on cellulases acting on their natural, insoluble substrate cellulose, but work on other enzymes that modify insoluble substrate may be included.
  • Identification of general traits of interfacial enzyme processes and the design of industrial enzymes.
  • Protein expression including DNA manipulation, fermentation and purification.

The work will be conducted in close collaboration with experimentalists and computational scientists at DTU Bioengineering and DTU Chemistry. As a postdoc, you will take part in the supervision of PhD students associated with the project, and you will be committed to the integration of the project’s experimental and computational activities. The project also involves close collaboration with protein chemists and molecular biologists from Novozymes A/S and applied mathematicians from Roskilde University.
Qualifications
Candidates should have a PhD degree or equivalent within biochemistry, biophysics, biotechnology, protein chemistry or a related topic. We expect that the candidate: 

  • Is interested and experienced in the kinetic description of enzyme reactions.
  • Have the ability to motivate colleagues to be their best and achieve ambitious goals.
  • Have extensive experience in enzymology including both the development and implementation of activity assays, and the stringent (model based) analysis of the results.
  • Have been working with the structure and function of Glucoside Hydrolases.
  • Have good qualifications in protein chemistry and general biophysics.
  • Believe in dialogue and feedback as the best foundation for sound decision-making and scientific progress.
  • Enjoy biochemical lab work and to develop and sophisticate biochemical protocols.

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. The post doc position is for 3 year.

The workplace is the DTU Campus in Lyngby, but minor activity in the laboratories of Novozymes A/S should be expected.You can read more about career paths at DTU here.

Further information 
Further information may be obtained from Prof. Peter Westh, DTU Bioengineering, petwe@dtu.dk or tel.: +45 4525 2641 or +45 3091 5488.

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Apply no later than 20 January 2019
Apply for the job at DTU Bioengineering by completing the following form.

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