PhD fellow in light-driven biosynthesis of high-value compounds – University of Copenhagen

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23 March 2017

PhD fellow in light-driven biosynthesis of high-value compounds

PhD scholarship

University of Copenhagen is offering a PhD scholarship in the design of light-driven biosynthesis of high value compounds with focus on high value diterpenoids

Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Science at University of Copenhagen is offering a PhD scholarship in the design of light-driven biosynthesis of high value compounds with focus on high value diterpenoids, commencing August 1st, 2017 or as soon as possible thereafter.

Description of the scientific environment
The Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences is a large department (>400 employees) dedicated to plant, microbial, and environmental sciences (http://plen.ku.dk/english/). The project is a collaboration between the Section for Molecular Plant Biology and the Plant Biochemistry Laboratory  The two Sections are also part of the Copenhagen Plant Science Centre The successful applicant will join a vibrant international research environment and will be an integrated member of the diterpenoid and photosynthesis team.

Project description
Photosynthetic organisms have great potential as production hosts for bioactive high-value compounds. We have successfully expressed complete pathways for cyanogenic glycosides and for structurally complex high value diterpenoids in both cyanobacteria and plants. Current efforts are being directed towards optimization of channeled electron transport to the involved cytochrome P450s by creating fusion proteins, designing dedicated electron donor systems and organizing the enzymes in metabolons. We want to explore this further in a PhD project involving metabolic engineering, testing and optimizing expression of enzymes, product secretion and harvest using synthetic biology approaches in cyanobacteria and chloroplasts of plants.     

We are seeking a motivated and creative PhD student displaying enthusiasm and good interpersonal and communication skills and with focus from learning from the future. Candidates with demonstrated skills in molecular biology, biochemistry, HPLC, GC-MS, LC-MS, enzyme activity assays, and assay developments are preferred. Prior documented knowledge within photosynthesis and plant specialized metabolism will be an advantage. Applicants with documented experience in completing a scientific manuscript will be prioritized. 

Principal supervisors are Poul Erik Jensen and Birger Lindberg Møller, Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, email: peje@plen.ku.dk or blm@plen.ku.dk.

Read more and apply online here: http://employment.ku.dk/phd/?show=897569