Postdoc with focus on Computational Strain Designer

mandag 01 nov 21

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Frist 29. november 2021
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Design microbial strains to solve high-impact real-world challenges

Imagine a world in which it is possible to produce most meat synthetically without rearing animals, paralyzed patients can have their spinal cords restored with the help of stem cells, industrial chemicals are produced in factories that use microbes, diseases caused by genetics are prevented before birth, diets and fitness regimens are tailored to individual genomes, microbiomes help extend life expectancy, and bio-machine interfaces enable direct mental control of electronics. The foundational technologies for all of these possibilities are already in place. The world is experiencing a biotechnological revolution that has been decades in the making, and while these are the early days, the scope and scale of these emerging capabilities will have a broad impact on economies and societies.

At The Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Biosustainability (DTU Biosustain), located on the Technical University of Denmark’s main campus in Copenhagen, we develop the next generation of biosustainable technologies using synthetic biology techniques with state-of-the-art equipment and top-class scientists from all over the world. We aim to achieve the goal of a sustainable future by creating novel paths to chemicals, materials, pharmaceuticals, and food using microbial cells. We are searching for a computational strain designer that will contribute to the development of new knowledge and technologies to build transformative platforms for the sustainable bio-based production of valuable and critical compounds.

Design microbial strains through large scale omics analysis, modeling, and more
You will join our newly established Strain Design Unit, headed by DTU Biosustain CEO, Prof. Bernhard Palsson. Together with your colleagues, your overall goal is to design microbial strains for the various application areas of the Center. More specifically, we are developing microbial strains for a host of applications, including small molecule production, bioactive compound production, and microbial foods through a combination of experimental and computational design approaches.

As a computational strain designer, Your primary tasks will include:

  • Computational modeling of metabolism to predict strain phenotype and generate strain designs with desired behavior,
  • Statistical analysis of internal and public datasets (e.g. genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics),
  • Processing, visualization of NGS and other high throughput data,
  • Contribution to the development of computational methods, tools, and workflows,
  • Communication of results with international collaborators.

At our center, cross-organizational collaboration and knowledge sharing are the foundation for turning our highly ambitious goals into reality. As such, you can look forward to working closely together with experimentalists, computationalists, and engineers to ensure the success of your projects.

PhD in bioinformatics, bioengineering, or equivalent and computational analysis background
We are looking for an independent and driven individual who prioritizes quality, clarity, impact, innovation, and constructive collaboration. We also expect this individual to have the professional and organizational skills necessary to manage, contribute to, and communicate progress for multiple parallel projects. Additionally, your CV should demonstrate:

  • A PhD in bioinformatics, bioengineering, or equivalent,
  • Computational analysis background (Python, R, etc),
  • Excellent written and spoken English,
  • Experience with algorithm or platform analysis and optimization for large-scale computations,
  • Familiarity with methods for computational modeling of metabolism (constraint-based, kinetic modeling, etc),
  • Experience or motivation for applying statistical and machine learning methods to strain design challenges,
  • Experience or motivation for nucleic acid and protein sequence analysis,
  • Experience or motivation for protein structural analysis,
  • Experience or motivation for interfacing with and/or implementing databases,
  • Experience or motivation for applying standard software engineering practices (version control, testing, continuous integration, etc).

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.

Please note, this is a postdoc position with a 2-year contract.

Further information
If you would like additional information about the position, please contact Patrick Phaneuf at If necessary, we will set up an additional phone call to ensure your understanding of the job and your many opportunities.

If you are applying from abroad, you may find useful information on working in Denmark and at DTU at DTU – Moving to Denmark.

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.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here.

Your complete online application must be submitted no later than 29 November 2021 (Danish 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 out the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one PDF file. The file must include:

  • Application (cover letter)
  • CV
  • Academic Diplomas (MSc/PhD)
  • List of publications

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

The Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Biosustainability (DTU Biosustain)
Recent progress in our ability to read and write genomic code, combined with advances in automation, analytics and data science, has fundamentally changed the scope and ambition of harnessing the potential of biological systems. Big data approaches and analysis of biological systems are key research instruments at the Center. DTU Biosustain utilizes these advances for microbial cell factory design to foster sustainable lifestyles in relation to three application areas: Sustainable Chemicals, Natural Products, and Microbial Foods. Learn more at

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 vision to develop and create value using science and engineering to benefit society. That vision lives on today. DTU has 12,900 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.