Postdoc in structural biology of biomass active enzymes

Updated: 3 months ago
Deadline: 14 Feb 2022

A postdoctoral position is offered in structural biology of enzymes involved in cleaving linkages in lignin-carbohydrate complexes as part of a collaborative project between Professor Leila Lo Leggio at the Department of Chemistry, University of Copenhagen with Associate Professor Johan Larsbrink at Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden. Lignin-carbohydrate bonds increase the recalcitrant and limit coversion of biomass to useful products. The collaborative project is focusing on enzyme activities able to facilitate the conversion by cleaving some of these bonds, including but not limited to glucuronoyl esterases. An example of previous collaborative work between the two groups within this general theme is in Mazurkewich et al, 2019 JBC, see https://www.jbc.org/article/S0021-9258(20)30019-3/fulltext

The advertised position is for a postdoctoral researcher experienced in enzyme crystallization and crystallography to support structure determination of the enzymes and their complexes with relevant ligands in the collaboration. The postdoctoral researcher will also have to coordinate receipt of samples from collaborating laboratories, synchrotron trips and crystal shipping, and establishment of sample characterization/crystallization pipelines incorporating use of a newly acquired in situ DLS instrument.

The following qualification is required

  • A PhD in Chemistry, Biochemistry, Biotechnology, Bionanoscience, Structural Biology or closely related discipline

The following experience is required

  • Protein crystallization
  • Synchrotron X-ray crystallographic data collection, including sample shipping, remote data collection
  • Crystallographic structure determination by Molecular Replacement
  • Determination of crystallographic ligand complexes
  • Documented ability to draft scientific publications and present structural data to others (documentable through publication list and list of oral presentations)

Applicants with previous experience in working with carbohydrate and/or lignin modifying enzymes will be strongly preferred. Experience with biophysical characterization of proteins and/or structure determination using anomalous scattering is an additional advantage. Teaching experience and in basic chemistry and crystallography, and previous involvement in international collaboration are also desirable.

Please describe in detail in the cover letter, how your qualification and experience matches the requirement for the current position.

The postdoc’s duties will include research as described above the above field as well as teaching. The post may also include performance of other duties.

Further information on the Department is linked at https://www.science.ku.dk/english/about-the-faculty/organisation/ . Inquiries about the position can be made to Professor Leila Lo Leggio, mail: leila@chem.ku.dk, https://forskning.ku.dk/soeg/result/?pure=da/persons/78410

The position is open to start in 2022, with earliest starting date on 1 May 2022 for one year.

The University wishes our staff to reflect the diversity of society and thus welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background.

Terms of employment
The position is covered by the Memorandum on Job Structure for Academic Staff.

Terms of appointment and payment accord to the agreement between the Ministry of Finance and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State.

Negotiation for salary supplement is possible.

The application, in English, must be submitted electronically by clicking APPLY NOW below.

Please include

  • Curriculum vitae
  • Diplomas (Master and PhD degree or equivalent)
  • Research plan - description of current and future research plans in relation to the applied position’
  • Complete publication list           
  • Separate reprints of 3 particularly relevant papers

The deadline for applications is 14 February 2022, 23:59, GMT +1.

After the expiry of the deadline for applications, the authorized recruitment manager selects applicants for assessment on the advice of the Interview Committee.

You can read about the recruitment process at https://employment.ku.dk/faculty/recruitment-process/ .

Interviews will be held in the week starting on 14 March 2022.


Part of the International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU), and among Europe’s top-ranking universities, the University of Copenhagen promotes research and teaching of the highest international standard. Rich in tradition and modern in outlook, the University gives students and staff the opportunity to cultivate their talent in an ambitious and informal environment. An effective organisation – with good working conditions and a collaborative work culture – creates the ideal framework for a successful academic career.


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