Postdoctoral Position in Biocatalysis & Synthetic Biochemistry

Faculty of Science – Van 't Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences

Publication date
5 December 2018
Level of education
PhD
Salary indication
€2,709 to €4,274 gross per month
Closing date
30 April 2019
Hours
38 hours per week
Vacancy number
18-735

The Van't Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences (HIMS) is one of eight institutes of the University of Amsterdam’s Faculty of Science. HIMS performs internationally recognized chemistry and molecular research, curiosity driven as well as application driven. This is done in close cooperation with the chemical, flavour & food, medical and high-tech industries. Research is organised into four themes: Sustainable Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry, Computational Chemistry and Molecular Photonics.

The Biocatalysis group is currently offering a Postdoctoral position for 15 months to work on an exciting research programme, which was funded by the European Research Council (ERC) – BioSusAmin and the Dutch national Sector Plan on Physics and Chemistry (Sectorplan Natuur- en Scheikunde).

The Biocatalysis group is part of the Sustainable Chemistry theme, which is a Research Prority Area (RPA) of the University of Amsterdam. In general, the RPAs represent the excellence of UvA in terms of research and worldwide recognition. The Biocatalysis group is headed by Dr  Francesco Mutti. In general, the Biocatalysis group carries out cutting-edge research at the interphase between the chemical and the biological sciences. The research mainly focuses on: the development of novel biocatalytic systems (e.g. in vitro and in vivo enzyme cascades) for the sustainable manufacturing of chemical products; the identification and characterization of novel enzymes; the engineering of enzymes to improve existing activities or introduce new activities; the creation of artificial enzymes; enzyme kinetics determination and elucidation of enzymatic reaction mechanisms.

Project description

The current manufacturing of chemical compounds is based on processes that require non-renewable resources and generate copious amounts of waste. In such scenario, enzymes provide the opportunity for sustainable development as enzymes (i) fulfil all the twelve principles of green chemistry, (ii) catalyse complicated chemical reactions with elevated chemo-, regio- and stereoselectivity, (iii) can be combined to carry out sequential multi-step processes in a single flask (or reactor, vessel) without the need for isolation and purification of the intermediates. Furthermore, protein engineering techniques allow for the creation of new enzymes capable of catalysing chemical reactions that are not known in Nature. These variants can be integrated into artificial pathways to further shorten synthetic routes and improve efficiency.

During the course of the ERC funded project, the Biocatalysis group has made major achievements such as the development of efficient biocatalytic cascade for the asymmetric conversion of alcohols into amines using either isolated enzymes in solution or co-immobilized enzymes as heterogeneous biocatalysts. Additionally, we have recently developed a system for the efficient asymmetric bioamination of alcohols in vivo using microbial cells overexpressing the required enzymes. This present position as Post-doctoral researcher aims at continuing this latter research line in order to generate more complex engineered microbial cells for challenging biotransformations in vivo on target molecules.

Requirements

What do we require of you?

- A PhD degree in biochemistry or industrial biotechnology. If you expect to complete your PhD by the end of March 2019 we will consider your application;

- You must possess a well-documented research experience in more of the following sub-disciplines (ideally all):

  • biocatalysis and biotransformation with microbial whole cells,
  • gene cloning and analysis,
  • capability to modify/design gene constructs for the co-expression of proteins,
  • knowledge of standard analytical chemical techniques (GC, HPLC);

- the ability to collaborate and adapt in an international team;

- good communication skills in oral and written English.

Further information

For further information, please contact:

You may also want to check our:

Appointment

This position will be available starting in the window period between 1 March and 1 June 2019 depending on your availability.

You will be appointed full-time at the University of Amsterdam on a temporary base for a period of 15 months. The gross salary will be in accordance with university regulations for academic personnel. Depending on experience and qualifications, it will range from a minimum of €2,709 up to a maximum of €4,274 gross per month (salary scale 10) based on full-time employment. This is excl. 8% holiday allowance and 8,3% end of year bonus. The Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities is applicable.

Job application

The UvA is an equal opportunity employer. We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees. We value a spirit of enquiry and endurance, provide the space to keep asking questions and cherish a diverse atmosphere of curiosity and creativity.

Due to limitations in recruitment budget we will preferably consider candidates that are currently in Europe.

You may send in your application using the link below.

Please upload the following information in a single PDF file (not zipped):

  • cover letter/letter of motivation (at most 1 page), why did you choose to apply for this position;
  • curriculum vitae, including list of publications;
  • the names and contact details (email and telephone numbers) of two academic references.

We will recruit until the position is filled. The selection process commences immediately, but will close when a suitable candidate has been found, even if this prior to the final date of the application window.  

Any other correspondence in response to this advertisement will not be dealt with. #LI-DNP

No agencies please

Published by  University of Amsterdam