Postdoc in Recombinant production and biophysical characterisation of plant proteins

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Will you contribute to develop more sustainable plant-based protein ingredients and accelerate the transition from animal- to plant-based food?

A research opportunity as postdoc is now available in the ‘SEEDFOOD: Functional and palatable plant seed storage proteins for sustainable foods’ project funded by the Novo Nordisk Foundation. The primary partners in SEEDFOOD are University of Copenhagen (UCPH), Technical University of Denmark (DTU) and University of Le Mans in France (ULM). The project coordinator is Professor Marianne Nissen Lund, Department of Food Science, UCPH. SEEDFOOD will serve as multi-disciplinary centre in which you as young scientist will benefit from training and joint supervision by principal investigators. We expect some mobility between labs and partners. You will be part of an international dynamic research environment founded on knowledge sharing, high scientific ambitions and cross-disciplinary synergy. We focus on active career development of junior researchers, and offer coaching/mentoring activities across the centre.

The vision of SEEDFOOD is to accelerate the transition from animal- to plant-based food proteins for sustainable food production and consumption. We will achieve this by tailoring plant protein ingredients with superior functional, palatable, and nutritional properties through novel protein design and in-depth understanding of molecular interactions in the food matrix. We will use rapeseed protein to obtain new insights underpinning the scientific foundation to promote the use of seed storage proteins for foods. Rapeseed is a protein-rich crop used for industrial oil production. It is farmed on a large scale in Europe and may be utilized in new food types locally across the globe. In SEEDFOOD we will create knowledge to sustainably transform poor functionality of plant seed storage proteins and rationally tailor protein performance for future food design. Scientific themes in SEEDFOOD encompass: gentle and sustainable processing to isolate seed proteins; improvement of protein surface characteristics through enzyme and UV-light treatments; biophysics of protein structures and molecular interactions; functionality and palatability in model foods.

Responsibilities and qualifications
We are seeking a postdoctoral researcher for a position in recombinant production and biophysical characterisation of isoforms and mutant proteins of rapeseed cruciferin and napin. The aims of the project are the optimization of the production hosts towards a high yield cell factory, the production of variants of cruciferin and napin, followed by an in-depth characterization of the key biophysical properties, such as protein stability and interactions with other relevant molecules.

The position is jointly between DTU Bioengineering and DTU Biosustain.

Tasks

  • Design of a high-expression platform strain.
  • Rational and systematic optimization of recombinant protein production of major naturally occurring rapeseed isoforms and mutants thereof.
  • Applying genome-scale metabolic models on the expression organism enabling high yields.
  • Design and production of variants of the rapeseed proteins.
  • Biophysical characterisation of rapeseed proteins, including, but not limited to, SPR, BLI, nanoDSF, DLS, flow-induced dispersion analysis.
  • Co-Supervision of PhD and Master students

Required qualifications

  • A PhD degree in experimental Biology, Biochemistry, Biophysics or Biotechnology.
  • Excellent English communication skills.
  • Good interpersonal skills and interest in working in a team of multiple partners.

Key selection criteria

  • Professional qualifications relevant for the position.
  • Publications.
  • Relevant work experience.
  • Language skills.
  • Creative thinking.

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 employment will start on the 1.1.2022, or as soon as possible thereafter. The employment is initially for two years.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here .

Further information
Further information may be obtained from Prof. Alexander K. Buell, tel.: +45 4525 4061, email: alebu@dtu.dk

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
Please submit your online application no later than 31 October 2021 (Danish time).

To apply, please open the link "Apply online", fill out the online application form. The following must be attached in English:

  • Application (cover letter)
  • CV
  • Diploma (MSc/PhD)
  • List of publications

Applications and enclosures received after the deadline will not be considered. All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, disability, race, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.

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 12,900 students and 6,000 employees. We work in an international atmosphere and have an inclusive, evolving, and informal working environment. DTU has campuses in all parts of Denmark and in Greenland, and we collaborate with the best universities around the world.


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