Postdoc with industrial mindset for fungal natural product identification in the field of plant p...

Updated: 4 months ago
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 11 Jun 2023

We seek a highly motivated Postdoc to push the boundaries for screening technologies within filamentous fungi to develop microorganisms as plant protection solutions for agriculture. The postdoc position is available at DTU Bioengineering - Department of Biotechnology and Biomedicine at the Technical University of Denmark.

The project
The position is part of the Smarter AgroBiological Screening (SABS) project, which will develop new biological antifungal agents for crop protection, to enable the reduction of chemical fungicide usage. The project is an industry-university collaboration involving a large team at DTU Bioengineering, to build-up a set of high-throughput automated assays to screen DTU's vast collection of microorganisms and advance the most promising strains towards in-planta testing. Artificial intelligence methodologies are used to find predictive patterns in the collected data and enable the most effective selection and optimization process. One of our cornerstone methods is metabolomics to link bioactivity with small metabolites produced by the fungi.

Responsibilities and qualifications
You will be part of an interdisciplinary team of highly skilled scientists with the common goal of finding new microbial biofungicide candidates by developing novel and efficient screening and phenotyping workflows in combination with HTP and detailed LTP metabolomics analyses.
Your overall focus will be to analyse and characterize lead fungal strains by metabolomics analyses in both HTP as well as LTP extract analyses.

Your primary tasks will be to:

  • Further characterize and investigate the chemistry driving the observed antifungal activity of fungal lead strains coming out of the developed HTP screening platform
  • Support the further development of a HTP metabolomics platform for fungi running parallel with the more detailed investigations.
  • Support implementation of a genome characterization pipeline (culture to processed genome).
  • Support the integration of several screening procedures into a functional screening platform.

As a formal qualification, you must hold a PhD degree (or equivalent). The PhD should preferably be in the fields of natural products discovery, biotechnology, bioengineering or similar, and ideally, you should have hands-on experience with working with analytical chemistry and filamentous fungi.

You are highly motivated by working in an interdisciplinary team, where you will be the natural product expert and hence drive the development of chemical analytics solutions for fungal screening and further characterization of fungal lead strains. You are technical-minded/skilled and ready to expand your competencies to include a diverse set of robotics platforms and big-data analyses.

You thrive in projects within the cross-section between academia and industry with an applied focus, and ideally, you could see yourself in a future startup company.

You must have:

  • A strong background in analytical chemistry/experimental mycology/molecular biology – preferably experience with identification of bioactive metabolites and biosynthetic pathway elucidation in fungi.
  • A solid LC-MS experience and previous experiences with purification of secondary metabolites and structure elucidation of such will be highly valuable.
  • Experience with automatic mass spectrometry and networking tools such as MZMine and GNPS would be an advantage.
  • A solid experience with the use/operation of automation and HTP technologies, including one or more of the following robotics platforms: FlowbotONE, Opentron, Tecan Fluent, QPixII, Rotor HDA, or Hamilton MicroSTAR (all available to the project).
  • Strong big data analyses competencies and experiences
  • Good communication skills in written and spoken English.

In addition, you have:
  • Experience with developing bioinformatics pipelines for processing of fungal metabolomics datasets and genomes (relating genomic data to phenotypical traits).
  • Excellent track-record of scientific achievements (publications, patents, awards, grants, conference presentations, etc.)

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 is time-limited and will end by end of June, 2024.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here .

Further information
Further information
about the position may be obtained from Associate Professor Ling Ding ( ) or from External Project Leader Niels Bjerg Jensen, ( / +45 6014 8032)
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 11 June 2023 (Danish time) - but please submit early as we will start a preliminary review and interview process.

Apply at: Postdoc with industrial mindset for fungal natural product identification in the field of plant protection

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:

  • Application (cover letter) including a description of experience with analytical chemistry and working with filamentous fungi
  • CV
  • Academic Diplomas (MSc/PhD)
  • List of publications and one selected publication
  • Names and contact information for three references
  • H-index and ORCID ID (see e.g. )

All interested candidates, irrespective of age, gender, disability, race, religion or ethnic background, are encouraged to apply.

The Department of Biotechnology and Biomedicine (DTU Bioengineering) is an international leader in the areas of biotechnology and biomedicine. Our engineering approach to all aspects of biotechnology and biomedicine positions us as a valuable player with unique competences in a growing bio-based economy and with health systems transforming towards personalized medicine. We have a clear focus on the needs in the life science industry and point towards innovation, new businesses, and scientific services for the benefit of society. The department has extensive collaborations with national and international research units and industry. DTU Bioengineering has approx. 400 employees, of which 2/3 are scientific staff. 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 mission to develop and create value using science and engineering to benefit society. That mission lives on today. DTU has 13,500 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.

View or Apply

Similar Positions