Postdoctoral researcher in Protein Engineering and Biochemistry (Mechanisms of Cell Stress...

Updated: 2 months ago
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 10 Sep 2021

A 3-year postdoc position in protein engineering and biochemistry is available in the Ubiquitin Signalling and Inflammation Laboratory led by Associate Professor Rune Busk Damgaard from 1 November 2021 or shortly thereafter.

In the Ubiquitin Signalling and Inflammation Laboratory at The Technical University of Denmark (DTU), our mission is to unravel fundamental biological concepts and identify druggable signalling mechanisms in cell stress signalling to advance therapy for patients suffering from diseases caused by dysregulation of signalling homeostasis. More specifically, we aim to understand how ubiquitin modifications regulate cell signalling at the interface of cell stress responses, cell death, and metabolism, and how dysregulation of these signalling mechanisms promotes the development of diseases such as autoinflammatory conditions and cancer. The lab uses a mix of molecular cell biology, biochemistry, and -omics technologies to investigate and understand how the enigmatic 'atypical' ubiquitin chains (K6-, K11-, K27-, K29-, K33- and M1-linked chains) control cellular signalling and functions.

Ubiquitin modifications control a wide variety of signalling pathways, particularly related to cell stress and inflammation. When dysregulated, ubiquitin signalling contributes to development of chronic immune disorders and cancer. This project is part of the lab's major long-term strategy to identify ubiquitin-dependent signalling mechanisms that can be targeted pharmacologically to treat diseases related to chronic inflammatory or cell stress conditions.

Responsibilities and qualifications

The successful candidate is a protein engineer and biochemist with experience and a strong academic track-record in their field and who can work independently and develop their projects involving design, expression, and purification of recombinant constructs. The postdoc will spearhead the development of new affinity tools (e.g. single-domain antibodies and other protein binders) for exploring novel aspects of atypical ubiquitin chain signalling, including M1-linked/linear chains, to understand how these ubiquitin modifications control cell signalling. This will include production and engineering of ubiquitin-conjugating and deconjugating enzymes for assembly of polyubiquitin chains to be used for discovery of single-domain antibodies using phage display as well as developing protocols and strategies for the application of these affinity tools (single-domain antibodies) for analysis of cellular ubiquitin signalling.

The main tasks include:

  • To design and engineer recombinant proteins/antigens to be cloned and purified for in vitro assays and discovery single-domain antibodies
  • To develop new affinity reagents for atypical ubiquitin chains using our in-house phage display pipeline
  • To establish and apply assays to analyse atypical ubiquitin signalling mechanisms in vitro and during cells stress
  • To use the developed affinity reagents and protocols to elucidate new ubiquitin-dependent signalling mechanisms during cell stress
  • To disseminate and communicate the results through journal publications and conference attendance
  • To assist with laboratory management, student supervision, and funding applications

We are looking for a talented and curious candidate with the following qualifications and experience for this ambitious and pioneering project:

  • The candidate must hold a PhD degree (or equivalent) in protein science, biochemistry, molecular biology, or a related discipline (candidates that are nearing the completion of their PhD may apply)
  • The candidate should have a strong background in protein biochemistry, molecular biology, and experiment design
  • The candidate should be ambitious, driven, and have motivation to succeed within a competitive research field
  • The candidate should have experience with state-of-the-art protein / DNA construct design software and protein engineering
  • The candidate should have experience with recombinant protein expression and a broad range of analytical and preparative methods used within protein purification (e.g. FPLC systems such as ÄKTA, Bio-Rad NGC, or similar)
  • The candidate should demonstrate evidence of independent research capability and good problem-solving skills
  • The candidate should have a track record of publication with at least one first-author paper in internationally recognised, peer-reviewed journal
  • The candidate should have a demonstrated ability to collaborate with team members
  • The candidate should have excellent communication skills in English (written and spoken)

Experience with any of the following is highly desirable but not essential:

  • Demonstrated ability to attract funding
  • Demonstrated leadership and/or supervision skills
  • Experience with experimental biophysics (e.g. SPR, ITC, FIDA, fluorescence polarisation, etc.) and/or structural biology
  • Experience with analysis of cell signalling and multiprotein complexes (e.g. immunoprecipitation and pulldowns, western blotting, etc.)
  • Experience with phage display technologies and/or antibody discovery
  • Experience with ubiquitin signalling, protein quality control, or cell stress
  • Experience with mammalian cell culture and cell biology
  • Experience with mass spectrometry-based proteomics

What we offer

The successful candidate will join an ambitious and international research team at the Department of Biotechnology and Biomedicine, Technical University of Denmark. The Ubiquitin Signalling and Inflammation Group offers a highly ambitious, challenging, encouraging, and dynamic work environment focusing on excellence in research, teaching, and innovation. We work together in a young and fun team. We grow together as scientists to tackle important, fundamental research questions. Read more about the lab and our research here:

The Ubiquitin Signalling and Inflammation Group is part of the Department of Biotechnology and Biomedicine, Technical University of Denmark. The department is highly interdisciplinary and a leading department within life sciences in Denmark, covering both fundamental, technological, and applied aspects of biomedical research. The successful candidate will join a recently started lab with excellent funding and support. The candidate will benefit from a thriving international and collaborative community and state-of-the-art facilities with access to cutting-edge technologies and equipment.

DTU is a leading technical university globally recognised 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 characterised by collegial respect and academic freedom tempered by responsibility.


Applications will be assessed by Associate Professor Rune Busk Damgaard together with relevant project partners.

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.

This is a full-time position. The start date is 1 November 2021 or as negotiated. The position is for 3 years in the first instance. The maximum employment period as a postdoc is 4 years.

The laboratory is located at DTU Lyngby Campus (Greater Copenhagen, Denmark).

Further information

Informal enquiries and requests for further information should be directed to Associate Professor Rune Busk Damgaard ( )

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 10 September 2021 (Danish time).

Applications must be submitted as a single PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply online", fill in the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one PDF file. The file must include:

  • Application (cover letter)
  • CV
  • List of publications
  • Academic diplomas (PhD, or MSc diploma if PhD degree has not been conferred)
  • Names and contact details for at least two academic references

Applications and enclosures received after the deadline will not be considered.

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

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