Saturday, June 12, 2021

Postdoc in Fungal Communities and Secondary Metabolism


Looking for an inspiring place to grow as a scientist and develop your cross-disciplinary skill-set?

The Center for Microbial Secondary Metabolites (CeMiSt) offers a dynamic research environment full of dedicated experts covering microbiology, natural product chemistry, analytical chemistry, microbial ecology, molecular biology, and bioinformatics. The Center of Excellence includes 24 scientists from three DTU departments, and our biweekly center meetings offer the ideal environment for you to build your network, expand your scientific horizon and engage in inspiring scientific discussions.

CeMiSt focuses on answering some of the big questions within the field of secondary metabolism:

  • Why do microorganisms produce secondary metabolites?
  • What is the impact of secondary metabolites on microbial communities?
  • How has secondary metabolism evolved?

We use three microbial ecosystems (seawater, soil and decaying apples) and rely on multidisciplinary approaches to address a similar set of questions across the systems. In the decaying apple system (few species, nutrition-rich), we have identified several key secondary metabolites, linked these to biosynthetic gene clusters, and generated both loss and gain of function mutants. The next exciting step is to test the fitness of the mutants and map the effects of losing or gaining the individual secondary metabolite for the producing organism and the community it inhabits. We hope you will join us on this journey and help with developing a suitable mock microbial community reflecting decaying apples.

Responsibilities and qualifications
Your primary task will be to characterize the secondary metabolite driven interactions in a mock community reflecting the fungal species found in the natural decaying apple ecosystem. The work will start with a two-species setup (Penicillium expansum and Monilinia fructigena) on agar media. Your work will further include developing tools (qPCR-based) for monitoring the species composition over time. Together, we will further analyze the metabolic dynamics (LC-MS) of the system and explore the possibilities for gene expression analysis (RNAseq) to understand the impact of secondary metabolites and potentially their mode of action.

We are looking for a biologist/molecular biologist/microbial ecologist with the necessary skill set for studying the composition and/or dynamics of microbial communities. We expect that you have: 

  • Hands-on experience with the handling and cultivation of filamentous fungi.
  • Experience with standard molecular biological procedures such as DNA purification, PCR, and qPCR.
  • Proven track record of publishing high-quality publications in peer-reviewed journals.

We further expect that you are a team player, that can turn ideas into tangible results and have good planning skills,

It would be a big plus if you have experience with:

  • Comparative genomics
  • Prediction of secondary metabolite potential
  • Development of assays to score fitness

As a formal qualification, you must hold a PhD degree (or equivalent).

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 Associate Professor Rasmus J.N. Frandsen, DTU Bioengineering, Head of the Section for Synthetic Biology,, phone: 22511435.

You can read more about DTU Bioengineering at, the CeMiSt Center of Excellence at, and the Biosynthetic Pathway Engineering group at

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

Application procedure
Your complete online application must be submitted no later than 1 August 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
  • Names and contact information for two references
  • H-index and ORCID (see e.g.
  • Published peer-reviewed papers (up to five), including a short description of your contribution.

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) conducts research, educates future bio-engineers, provides scientific advice and innovate within the areas of microbiology, biochemistry, biotechnology and biomedicine. The research at DTU Bioengineering is at the highest international level and focuses on the societal and scientific challenges within the field. 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. 250 employees, of which 2/3 are scientific staff. The department is located at DTU Lyngby Campus.

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 ├śrsted 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. Our main campus is in Kgs. Lyngby north of Copenhagen and we have campuses in Roskilde and Ballerup and in Sisimiut in Greenland.

Apply for this job

Apply no later than 1 August 2021
Apply for the job at DTU Bioengineering by completing the following form.

Apply online

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