Postdoc position within structural cell biology

Updated: about 17 hours ago
Deadline: 31 Jan 2023

Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, Section of Plant Glycobiology Faculty of Science at University of Copenhagen is offering a postdoc position. The postdoc position will be associated with the Plant Cellulose Synthesis research group and carried out with Assist. Prof. Kristian E. H. Frandsen and Prof. Staffan Persson. The work aims to structural visualise the large Cellulose Synthase protein complex (CSC) in planta responsible for plant cell wall formation. The research will range from culturing single plant cells and visualizing large protein complexes in vivo using advanced light microscopy (confocal fluorescence) to determining the organization and molecular structures of protein complexes in their near native environment in vivo using state-of-the-art cryo-electron tomography (cryo-ET) and subtomogram averaging (STA).

The postdoc position covers structural cell biology and will be based in the Plant Cellulose Synthesis research group in a highly cross-disciplinary team that includes the full range of computational structural biology, microscopy, molecular biology and biochemistry (> 20 people). This postdoc will prepare single cell cultures (protoplasts) derived from plant tissue of transgenic marker lines (A. thaliana and/or Nicotiana tabacum BY-2) and localize the CSC complex in vivo using correlative light and electron microscopy (CLEM) through the group’s access to microscope facilities e.g. Center for Advanced Bioimaging (CAB) and Core Facility for Integrated Microscopy (CFIM) both located at the University of Copenhagen. A substantial part of the postdoc will be carried out at Biozentrum, University of Basel in the group of Prof. Benjamin Engel, which are international experts in preparing suitable cryo-frozen samples for cryo-electron microscopy/tomography (EM/ET) including novel focused ion beam (FIB) milling lift-out approaches.

The ideal candidate will be part of an exciting international team striving to understand the structural details of enzyme complexes responsible for plant cell morphology. The candidate is expected to have a solid foundation in structural cell biology and optimally hands-on experience with cryo-electron microscopy and/or tomography (cryo-EM/ET) with a supporting strong publication record. Expertise in Structural Biology techniques e.g. X-ray crystallography is considered a plus. You will also be expected to engage in teaching, supervision of students and lab technicians, as well as actively apply for funding.

Required Qualifications
A PhD degree in Structural Biology, Biochemistry, Biophysics, Nanotechnology or similar.
Excellent English communication skills and good interpersonal skills.

Practical experience with one or more of:

  • Cryo-Electron Microscopy and/or tomography (cryo-EM/ET)
  • Structural Biology techniques (e.g. X-ray crystallography)
  • Biophysics & Advanced microscopy
  • Plant protoplast isolation

Key Selection Criteria

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

Copenhagen is ranked as one of the most livable cities in the world, and the appointee can get extensive help from the International Mobility Center ( ) for relocation purposes. The applicants are also encouraged to look into the Danish research salary & tax system.

Further information on the Department is linked at . Inquiries about the position can be made to Kristian E. H. Frandsen email: and Staffan Persson email:

The position is open from 01-05-2023or as soon as possible thereafter.

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 Taxation 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
  • Complete publication list
  • Separate reprints of 3 particularly relevant papers

The deadline for applications is  Tuesday 31 January 2023, 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

Interviews will be held in mid-march

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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