Postdoctoral Position in Microbial Robustness at Chalmers University of Technology

Chalmers University of Technology is delighted to offer a postdoctoral associate position in molecular biology. The funds for this position are available for three years. All candidates regardless of citizenship are eligible to apply before August 10, 2019.

The Department of Biology and Biological Engineering was founded January 1 2015, and started off with high ambitions. The aim was to grow and become a leading center of innovation by combining the latest research in life sciences with biochemistry. And the department got off to flying start. In its first year, the numbers for publication, citation and external funding have been excellent.

The department consists of four divisions, each conducting outstanding research in the areas of industrial biotechnology, systems biology, chemical biology and food science. The overall goal is to help build a sustainable society and improve human health. Nearly 200 people from 20 countries are currently working at the department. The working environment is characterized by respect, cooperation, responsibility, creativity and job satisfaction. The Department of Biology and Biological Engineering has summarized its mission in four points: - To be an attractive environment for top-level researchers in biological engineering - To deliver top-level research results and innovative solutions for use in a sustainable society - To offer excellent education that develops creative engineers and scientists - To be a major contributor to international visibility of Chalmers Information about the research

The post doc position is placed at the Division of Industrial Biotechnology within the Department of Biology and Biological Engineering at Chalmers University of Technology. The Industrial Biotechnology group is a young, dynamic and international group of researchers established in 2008 and counts now around 40 members. The common denominator of the research activities in the group is to optimize the use of renewable raw materials for the sustainable production of fuels, chemicals and materials within the main concept of biorefinery.

The research performed within the group spans from fundamental research, technology development and lab-scale application: this ensures deep knowledge of the studied systems, leading to rational development and optimization of the respective applications. The research fields include production of biofuels and chemicals via fermentation and enzymatic refining of biomass, bioelectrochemical systems and algal biotechnology. The division has an extensive instrument platform for analytics, molecular biology, protein production and purification, fermentation which are all available for the project. In addition, core facilities with advanced equipment are available within both the Department and at the University campus.

The overarching goal of the research program is to achieve a molecular understanding of microbial robustness and convert that knowledge to meet the urgent need of efficient industrial catalysts. Here, using yeast as the microbial platform, the natural exhibited yeast diversity and differently laboratory evolved strains that exhibit different robustness fitness will be taken as a starting point for identifying molecular traits behind microbial robustness. Methodologies that can build a foundation towards understanding microbial robustness under different physiological conditions, will be combined, including genomics, epigenetics, measurements of stress markers, cellular protectants, redox and energy status. Both the genetic capacity of the cells and the phenotypic expression, plasticity and heterogeneity will be investigated. Cells will be grown under industrially relevant conditions, including growth in biomass derived streams, at high substrate and product concentrations, nutrient limitations and zero growth. The knowledge acquired will form the basis for strain engineering strategies to further improve yeast as a robust cell factory.

The position is financed by a Distinguished Investigator grant from Novo Nordisk Foundation (website). In this research program two PhD students and one post doc will work on microbial robustness.

Major responsibilities

The post doc will contribute to develop a range of methods for studying microbial robustness focusing on high through put methodology. Major research tasks include elucidation of microbial traits that convey microbial robustness using natural variation in domesticated yeast strains and evolved strains. This knowledge will be used for identification of molecular markers for robustness and further strain engineering. Studies of cell population heterogeneity will also be included.

Your major responsibility as postdoc is to perform research within the theme of microbial robustness. The position also includes teaching on undergraduate and master’s levels as well as supervising master’s and/or PhD students to a certain extent. Another important aspect involves collaboration within academia and with society at large. The position is meritorious for future research duties within academia as well as industry/the public sector.

Full-time temporary employment. The position is limited to a maximum of two years (1+1).


The candidate should have a PhD in Biotechnology/Bioengineering, Systems Biology, Microbiology, Biochemistry or related disciplines. Strong foundation in Systems biology and understanding of yeast physiology is necessary. Courses in evolution biology is considered a merit. Extensive hands-on experience with collection and analysis of large omic data sets. Experience in genome editing and studies on single cell level is mandatory experiences and skills. Insights into industrial fermentation processes and experience in fermentation technology and strain engineering is considered a merit.

As a person we think you are self-motivated, ambitious, enthusiastic, creative, well-organised and have good technical abilities. You are able to put up new experimental procedures and be good in finding new solutions to technical problems. Excellent problem-solving skills, collaborative and social abilities are highly important. We see that you have strong analytical skills, and a keen interest in the interpretation of complex data. Ability to work in teams and a drive for own development is also important. Good communication skills in English are necessary.

To qualify for the position of postdoc, you must have a doctoral degree in a relevant field; the degree should generally not be older than three years. You are expected to be somewhat accustomed to teaching, and to demonstrate good potential within research and education.

The position requires sound verbal and written communication skills in Swedish and English. If Swedish is not your native language, you should be able to teach in Swedish on undergraduate level after two years. Chalmers offers Swedish courses.

Chalmers offers a cultivating and inspiring working environment in the dynamic city ofGothenburg.

Read more aboutworking at Chalmersand ourbenefitsfor employees.

Application procedure

The application should be marked with Ref 20190362 and written in English.

CV: (Please name the document as: CV, Surname, Ref.

CV, include complete list of publications

Previous teaching and pedagogical experiences

Two references that we can contact.

Personal letter:(Please name the document as: Personal letter, Family name, Ref. number)

- Introduce yourself

- Describe your previous research fields and main research results

- Describe your future goals and future research focus

Attested copies of completed education, grades and other certificates.

Application deadline: 10 August, 2019.We will continuously evaluate applicants from July 25.

Professor Lisbeth Olsson, Dept. of Biology and Biological Engineering – Industrial Biotechnology

+46 31-772 38 05


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