Postdoc position in biochemistry of cyanobacterial CO2 fixation

Updated: 13 days ago
Deadline: 10 Jan 2022

Published: 2021-11-30

Uppsala University is a comprehensive research-intensive university with a strong international standing. Our ultimate goal is to conduct education and research of the highest quality and relevance to make a long-term difference in society. Our most important assets are all the individuals whose curiosity and dedication make Uppsala University one of Sweden’s most exciting workplaces. Uppsala University has over 45,000 students, more than 7,000 employees and a turnover of around SEK 7 billion.

The Department of Chemistry - Ångström conducts research and education in the chemistry field. The department has more than 250 employees and has a turnover of 250 million SEK. At the department's six programs, we conduct very successful research of a high international standard. We have a large number of externally funded research projects, often with international cooperation and we see continued good growth in our subject area. The department has education assignments in engineering programs and master's programs. More information is available on our website . 

We now have an open postdoc position in within Cecilia Blikstad’s group. Research within the group is focused on biochemical investigations of CO2 fixation in cyanobacteria. The group is part of the Microbial Chemistry research program, which is centred around cyanobacteria, photosynthetic microorganisms with the ability to convert solar energy, CO2 and water into useful compounds. The greater goal within the program is to address global warming and food shortage by converting atmospheric CO2 into valuable products such as biofuel, specialized chemicals and food. We have a highly creative research environment, and our projects provide many opportunities for interaction and collaboration within the department as well as with outside collaborators.

Project description: Rubisco, the primary CO2-fixing enzyme of the Calvin-Benson-Bassham cycle, is the most abundant protein on Earth. Despite this centrality, Rubisco is a relatively slow enzyme and fails to distinguish between CO2 and the competing off-target substrate of O2. To overcome these limitations bacteria, algae and plants have evolved different types of CO2 concentration mechanisms (CCMs). These systems create a locally high concentration of CO2 around Rubisco and thereby increase overall CO2 fixation rates. The cyanobacterial CCM consist of two major components: inorganic carbon transporters that actively accumulate bicarbonate in the cytosol and a protein organelle called the carboxysome.

Carboxysomes co-encapsulate the key enzymes for CO2 fixation, Rubisco and carbonic anhydrase, within a protein shell. These complex protein structures are built out of more than 10,000 distinct protein pieces that spontaneously self-assemble within the bacteria cell. We use a combination of biochemistry, enzymology, molecular biology, synthetic biology, structural biology, and bioinformatics to study various aspects (function, structure, assembly, regulation etc.) of the cyanobacterial CO2 concentrating mechanism. You will work in a project focusing on protein interactions, regulation, and activity of the carboxysome and its encapsulated enzymes. The acquired knowledge will lead the way for downstream applications aiming at enhancing photosynthetic efficiencies in future microorganisms and crops. For more information visit the lab website .  

Work duties: The main duties involved in this postdoctoral posistion is to conduct research within the subject area mentioned above. Supervision of degree projects and doctoral students. Teaching may also be included, but up to no more than 20% of working hours.


  • For employment as postdoc, the applicant should have a PhD exam or an international equivalent within the field of biochemistry, molecular biology, biophysics, biotechnology or other for the position relevant fields, within a maximum of three (3) years before the final application date. During certain circumstances, an earlier PhD can be acceptable. Certain circumstances include leave due to illness, parental leave, in trade unions, etc.
  • Very good oral and written proficiency in English.

The assessment of applications is based primarily on the applicant's ability to conduct independent research based on scientific skill. Greater importance is attached to the quality of individual scientific work, than to the amount of publications.

Large enphasis will be put on personal qualities. Consideration will be given to good collaborative skills, good analytical skills, drive and independence, and how the applicant’s experience and skills complement and strengthen ongoing research within the department, and how they stand to contribute to its future development.

Desirable qualifications: Advanced knowledge and/or practical experience in the following will be beneficial.

  • Practical and theoretical skills in biochemistry and/or molecular biology or similar.
  • Cunducting, interpretating and publishing biochemical studies.
  • Experience in protein biochemistry including but not limited to protein purification, protein-protein interactions, enzymology or structural biology.
  • Experience in molecular biology including but not limited to molecular cloning or working with photosynthetic microorganisms.

Application procedure: The application should include a personal letter describing yourself, your research interest and why you are interested in the position, a CV, certificates of degrees and grades, a copy of (or link to) Doctoral thesis, published article or other relevant materials, if available. Also include contact information of at least two references.

Salary: Individual pay.

Starting date: 2022-03-01, or as otherwised agreed.

Type of employment: Temporary position for two years.

Scope of employment: 100 %.

For further information about the position please contact: Cecilia Blikstad,

Please submit your application by January 10th 2022, UFV-PA 2021/4623.

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Submit your application through Uppsala University's recruitment system.

Placement: Department of Chemistry - Ångström Laboratory

Type of employment: Full time , Permanent position

Pay: Fixed salary

Number of positions: 1

Working hours: 100%

Town: Uppsala

County: Uppsala län

Country: Sweden

Union representative: Seko Universitetsklubben

Number of reference: UFV-PA 2021/4623

Last application date: 2022-01-10

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