Postdoc in Plant Synthetic Biology

DTU Bioengineering
fredag 21 sep 18

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Frist 24. oktober 2018
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DTU Bioengineering at the Technical University of Denmark invites applications for a position as Post doc in Plant Synthetic Biology to express human pheromones in mosses.

The overall mission of DTU Bioengineering is to contribute to research, development and education within the scientific areas of Biotechnology, Microbiology, Biomedicine and Systems Biology. In particular, this position is placed in the Section of Synthetic Biology and aims at strengthening our activities within photosynthetic cell factories.

The aim of this research is to using transgenic moss plants to biosynthesise both palaeohominid and modern human male pheromones, then characterise the degree of sexual attraction/repellence they elicit in volunteers using Wederkind’s classic ‘sweaty t-shirt’ sexual attraction test.

Responsibilities and tasks
The post doc will be placed in the research group Photosynthetic Cell Factories, in the Synthetic Biology group. The post doc will, as part of the Neandamoré project be responsible for the molecular biological work needed to express the genes needed to biosynthesize male pheromones from modern humans our closest relatives, the Neanderthals and Denisovans. This will also include a chemical characterization of products in the moss mutants.

The chemical work will be performed in collaboration with the members of DTU Metabolomics Core.

Are you interested in Plant Biotechnology, then you could be our now post doc. Your core responsibilities will be to 

  • Identify genes related to pheromone production in humans, Neanderthals and Denisovans
  • Establish moss mutants that produce pheromones
  • Confirm the pheromone production using analytical chemistry tools

The research will contribute to all parts of the Neandamoré project, and you should have the ability to collaborate with colleagues from as device fields as palaegenomics, psycologist and chemist. You must an ability to motivate colleagues to be at their best and achieve our ambitious goals through strong collaboration. The project is performed in collaboration with Centre for GeoGenetics, Natural History Museum of Denmark, University of Copenhagen.

We require the following: 

  • Candidates should have a PhD degree in plant biotechnology or similar.
  • Strong experience with plant molecular biology, preferably within moss biotechnology.
  • Profound experience with cloning and expression of genes and synthetic biology in general
  • Experience with PCR, design of large scale cloning projects, use of in vivo assembly of DNA
  • Several first-author papers in good international journals.
  • Independence and good communication skills in English.
  • A strong desire to work in the interplay between diverse academic disciplines

The candidate should be

  • self-driven with a strong wish to explore boundaries
  • motivated by both personal and team accomplishments
  • able to and thrive in collaboration and teamwork
  • able to supervise students, PhD student and strive to develop talent amongst others

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 an 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 with the relevant union. The periode of employment is from 1 January 2019 to 31 December 2020.

The workplace is DTU Lyngby Campus.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here.

Further information
Further information may be obtained from Associate Professor Henrik Toft Simonsen, e-mail:

You can read more about DTU Bioengineering on  

Application procedure
Please submit your online application no later than 24 October 2018 (local time). Applications must be submitted as one 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
  • Diploma (MSc/PhD)
  • List of publications

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

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) conducts research, educates future bio-engineers, provides scientific advice and innovate within the areas of microbiology, biochemistry, biotechnology and biomedicine. The research at DTU Bioengineering is at the highest international level and focuses on the societal and scientific challenges within the field. Research is conducted within three main areas: Microbial ecology and physiology, Industrial biotechnology and cell factories, and Biomedicine and health. The department has extensive collaboration with national and international research units and industries. DTU Bioengineering has approx. 180 employees, of which 2/3 is scientific staff. The department is located at DTU Lyngby Campus.

DTU is a technical university providing internationally leading research, education, innovation and scientific advice. Our staff of 6,000 advance science and technology to create innovative solutions that meet the demands of society, and our 11,200 students are being educated to address the technological challenges of the future. DTU is an independent academic university collaborating globally with business, industry, government and public agencies.