• PostDoc
  • Leipzig

Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ

The Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) with its 1,100 employees has gained an excellent reputation as an international competence centre for environmental sciences. We are part of the largest scientific organisation in Germany, the Helmholtz Association. Our mission: Our research seeks to find a balance between social development and the long-term protection of our natural resources. Hydrogen will play a key role in decarbonizing our society and sustaining our future. Biophotovoltaics (BPV), which exploits the natural oxygenic photosystem in a bioelectrochemcial system, aims to deliver a sustainble solution for hydrogen production in the future. It provides unique benefits in terms of the energy and resource demands and also it can potentially make H2 production as a carbon-sink process since the oxygenic photomicroorganism (e.g. cyanobacteria) use CO2 as the carbon source for growth and maintenance. Within the newly BMBF funded Nachwuchsgruppenprojekt BioPV4H2, we aim to gain a holistic understanding of the BPV process from both biological and technological aspects, and thus to promote rational design and development of this technique for future application. To realize the proposed ambitious goals, I am seeking an enthusiastic synthetic biologist to fill a full-time postdoc position funded by this project. The main task of this position is to engineer the membrane electron transfer pathways of cyanobacteria in BPV using synthetic biology tools, in order to facilitate the electron transfer rate from the photosystem to the external electron sink. The successful candidate will have the support to establish and lead the synthetic biology platform in the group, and will be strongly supported to develop his/her research profile for the next scientific career move, including but not limited to further training, international conference and networking. Postdoc position (m/f/x) on engineering the membrane electron transport pathway in Synechocystis Working time: 100% (39 hours per week), expected starting date from January 1st, 2023 but can be discussed upon individual case. (The initial phase of employment will be 1 year, and will be directly extended for another 3 years upon positive evaluation.) The successful candidate will develop and lead the synthetic biology platform, and work closely with the PhD students and also our project partners (e.g. Prof. Victor de Lorenzo and Prof. Peter Lindblad) to drive the research progress of the respective working tasks. Particularly your tasks will include: Developing the synthetic biology methods for bacterial membrane protein expression and knock-down/out; Introducing heterologous membrane reductase to extract electrons from cellular electron transport chain; Characterizing the microbial physiology and behaviors; Communicating with our project partners and also involved in preparing the strategic plan of the project; Co-supervising PhD/Master/Bachelor students; Presenting project progress at international scientific conferences; Writing progress report, and publishing project results in high-ranked scientific journals; PhD in molecular biology, microbiology, biochemistry or related area; Documented experience in synthetic biology method development; Documented experience in strain engineering, best on the cyanobacteria or microalgae; Experience with bacterial membrane protein expression, CRISPR or CRISPRi will be a bonus; Knowledge in quantitative biology using omics and/or microscopy-based tools will be an asset, but not essential; Knowledge in pure culture-based bioelectrochemical systems will be beneficial, but not essential; Excellent communication and team-working skills; Capable of critical thinking and able to work independently; Strong self-motivation for scientific work in an interdisciplinary project; Proficient in English speaking and writing. Excellent technical facilities which are without parallel The freedom you need to bridge the difficult gap between basic research and close to being ready for application Work in inter-disciplinary, multinational teams and excellent links with national and international research networks A vibrant region with a high quality of life and a wide cultural offering for a balance between family and professional life Interesting career opportunities and an extensive range of training and further education courses Remuneration up to the TVöD public-sector pay grade 13 including attractive public-sector social security benefits

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