Postdoc in Biophysical Studies of Protein Aggregation and Phase Separation

DTU Bioengineering
torsdag 21 feb 19

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Frist 31. marts 2019
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The newly established research group of Prof. Alexander K. Buell (start April 2019) at DTU Bioengineering is recruiting a postdoctoral fellow, to start as soon as possible. Our research group will be situated within the section of Protein Chemistry and Enzyme Technology, where world-leading expertise in protein chemistry and structural biology is concentrated. Our laboratory performs cutting edge experimental research in the field of protein and peptide self-assembly and aggregation. The applied methods include protein engineering as well as various spectroscopy, scattering, biosensing and microfluidics techniques and we work on a wide variety of proteins, from simple model systems to disease-related proteins. The overall aim of our research is to achieve a profound mechanistic understanding of protein and peptide assembly into ordered (fibrillar, crystalline) and disorderd (amorphous, liquid droplet) condensed phases and of the physico-chemical factors that drive it. To achieve these goals, we also collaborate with structural, computational and medical biologists. The motivation behind our research is to enable rational control of such assembly processes in the context of human disorders, protein biotechnology as well as in the creation of novel types of functional biomaterials.

Research project

Liquid-liquid phase separation of proteins and the formation of membrane-less organelles are increasingly recognised as important phenomena involved in the regulation of key cellular processes in space and time. The postdoctoral fellow will study these phenomena by creating non-equilibrium scenarios within microfluidic devices that mimic their biological counterparts and bridge the gap between traditional test tube experiments and experiments within living systems. In particular, an important aim will also be to establish the link between functional phase separation and deleterious aggregation of proteins.

Responsibilities and tasks

The successful candidate will contribute to the establishment of a new line of research in the laboratory, the study of biologically relevant liquid-liquid phase separation. The tasks consist in producing and purifying several different proteins that have been found to phase separate in vitro and in vivo. The candidate will then go on to study the phase separation behaviour inside microfluidic devices, which he or she will be designing, producing and operating. Further tasks will include:

  • Assistance in and involvement with other research projects and topics in the group
  • Help with the supervision of PhD students
  • Taking responsibility for the functioning of research equipment
  • Experimental design, data analysis, writing of scientific articles and presentations at conferences

Candidates should have a PhD degree or equivalent in molecular biology, biophysics or related fields. The successful candidate should:

  • Have a documented track record in protein technology (expression and purification of recombinant proteins from different expression systems)
  • Be interested in the quantitative study of biomolecular systems in vitro
  • Be highly motivated to drive a challenging research project
  • Feel comfortable in an interdisciplinary research environment
  • Thrive in a collaborative environment of mutual support and encouragement
  • Have a strong track record in the generation, analysis, interpretation and dissemination of scientific results (as demonstrated by publications, oral presentations outreach)
  • Have experience (or the willingness to aquire it) in protein biophysics

Experience in the fabrication and operation of microfluidic devices is desirable but not a definitive requirement.

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 period of employment is 2 years.
You can read more about career paths at DTU here.
Further information

Further information may be obtained from Prof. Alexander K. Buell.

Presently to be contacted through:

You can read more about the Department of Bioengineering at DTU at:

Application procedure

Please submit your online application no later than 31 March 2019 (24:00 local time)


To apply, please open the link "Apply online", fill out the online application form. The following must be attached in English:

  • Application (cover letter)
  • CV
  • Diploma (MSc/PhD)
  • List of publications
  • Names and contact details of 2-3 referees

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) addresses challenges of societal and scientific importance within biotechnology, biomedicine, food technology and human health. The department is based on both basic and applied research and employs tools from biochemistry, biophysics, chemistry, cellular biology, immunology, microbial ecology and physiology, bioinformatics and bio-engineering. 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.