Postdoc in Synthetic Biology of Natural Products

DTU Biosustain
Denmark (DK)
Collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations
Jul 02, 2021
Jul 30, 2021
Field of specialization
Analytical, Biological, Engineering, Green Chemistry
Work Function
Job Type

Do you want major freedom and funding to solving problems to the benefit of mankind?

If your field of expertise is within natural products, chemistry, discovery or biosynthesis, and you are looking for an opportunity to make an impact far beyond the average, this is your chance.

At DTU Biosustain we develop the next generation of bio sustainable technologies using synthetic biology techniques. We create novel methods and technologies as a foundation for development of new environment friendly products, better and less energy consuming manufacturing processes, new medical treatments, climate friendly farming, etc. In other words, we try to solve some of the biggest challenges in the history of mankind, and you will get the chance to add your personal mark to this – with especial focus on solutions for therapeutics and agriculture. The position is for 2 years, meaning you will have the necessary time to succeed.

Groundbreaking development of technology for microbial cell factories
You will play an important role in the development of our fully funded natural product research program with focus on developing technology for microbial cell factories to produce any plant or microbial natural product – founded on evolution and function of secondary metabolism. The team’s primary focus is therapeutics and agriculture but as long as your work supports the overall mission, we are very open for your ideas. Your tasks will be to:
Discover bioactive molecules from microorganisms using genomics

  • Develop heterologous expression systems for natural products
  • Develop analytical methods for natural products
  • Collaborate with other scientists within and outside our team

You will unfold your skills at our state-of-the-art lab at DTU’s main campus in Copenhagen. Here you will be part of a new and growing team of 4 Scientists, Lab Tech and a Principal Investigator. The team is co-lead by Jay Keasling. When joining us, you can look forward to being part of a Center with multiple world-class Scientists with a shared passion for breaking new ground in a positive environment characterized by cross-organizational collaboration and knowledge sharing.

Open minded and curious team player with PhD degree or equivalent
As you will join a science center with a dedicated mission to break new ground and find new ways to solve extremely complex challenges, you must bring a genuine passion for research. As we firmly believe that the best results are created when people share knowledge and provide constructive feedback with an open mind and respect for other people, you must be a team player. Additionally, your CV comprises experience/understanding of one or more of the below areas of expertise:

  • Experience with microbial genome editing, synthetic biology, genetic or metabolic engineering
  • Understanding of natural product biosynthesis, enzymology, or chemistry
  • Experience in natural product discovery and/or production (in native or heterologous systems)
  • Experience in analytical chemistry (LC-MS, Prep HPLC, etcetera)

We also hope that you are motivated by adding bioinformatics (transcriptomics, genomics, phylogenetics etc.) to your skillset – you can look forward to full support and the necessary training.

The focus of your new team
Our focus is to develop technology for microbial cell factories to produce any plant or fungal natural product with an additional focus on therapeutics and agriculture.

As natural products are the best source of drugs and bioactive molecules, we want these technologies to ensure that more natural products can be produced in sufficient quantities for testing/approval and eventually for the market. As such, your work can lead the way to e.g. better and affordable treatments for diseases and/or solutions that can ensure that we can feed the world’s growing population sustainably. You can read more about DTU Biosustain’s Natural product program at

Further information
If you would like additional information about the position, please contact Senior Researcher, Pablo Cruz-Morales, 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.

The position is for 2 years.

Your complete online application must be submitted no later than 30 July 2021 (Danish time). Apply at

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 referees.

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, 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.