Postdoc in E. coli systems biology and chemical genomics at Technical University of Denmark (Copenhagen, Denmark)

Do you want intellectual freedom as part of a world-class research team?
If you have a PhD or similar covering the areas of E. coli molecular biology and quantitative microbial physiology, and you are looking for just the right place to make the most of your knowledge and talent, this position is exactly that. As part of the Flux Optimisation and BioAnalysis Group at DTU Biosustain you will develop your skills surrounded by state-of-the-art equipment while breaking new ground on the very forefront of scientific research in your field of expertise. You can also look forward to joining a highly collaborative and positive environment where you will get all the necessary support to turn your ideas into great results.

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.

Vary the phenotype of E. coli using small molecules – the foundation for your research
Microbial Cell Factories are core to the BioEconomy, and E. coli is a leading example. Despite this, and the fact that it was first sequenced some 25 years ago, still fully one third of its genes are of unknown function . A general strategy to uncover these functions, as a means of improving its performance in biotechnology, is to understand those conditions in which their expression is most modified, and the consequent effects on the phenotype. Variation is usually induced genetically or by changing nutritional conditions, but in addition we shall seek to vary the phenotype using small molecules, a strategy known as chemical genomics. (These will be purchased – no need for synthesis.) High-throughput methods for transcriptomics and metabolomics will contribute to the pool of other such data being generated locally that we can mine.

Profound freedom to perform under guidance of group leader Prof Douglas Kell
At DTU Biosustain we believe that the best scientific results are achieved based on trust in the individual backed by an environment of collaboration, knowledge sharing and support. This multidisciplinary program mirrors this overall approach, meaning you can look forward to generating results based on positive collaboration with a variety of experts within and beyond the Centre for Biosustainability. At the same time, you will have considerable freedom to pursue studies as you see fit within the overall guidance of the group leader, Prof Douglas Kell.

Your new workplace will be the The Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Biosustainability at DTU’s main campus in Lyngby, Copenhagen. Travelling is not expected, but supported if you e.g. want to attend a conference or visit Prof Kell’s facilities in Liverpool UK. If you are applying from abroad, you may find useful information on working in Denmark and at DTU at DTU – Moving to Denmark.

Expertise within E. coli molecular biology and quantitative microbial physiology
We are looking for a talented and ambitious Scientist with a collaborative mindset. Added to this, you must bring a high-throughput, inductive and data-driven mentality . Regarding your scientific competencies we have a list of “need to haves” and an additional list of “nice to haves”:

Basic competencies needed
You must bring a PhD or equivalent and specific expertise within:

  • coli molecular biology (cloning, sequencing, plasmidology, etc.)
  • Quantitative microbial physiology
  • Experience in data analytics

 Desirable competencies – not a prerequisite for applying
f you bring experience within one or more of the below areas, it will be beneficial but if not, we can as mentioned provide the necessary training. As part of this, it will be especially beneficial if you have an interest in small molecule biology, i.e. metabolomics, and an understanding of the need to develop new antimicrobial.

  • High-content and/or high-throughput experimental analytics, e.g. omics
  • Flow cytometry and cell sorting
  • Cheminformatics, e.g. using KNIME
  • Programming experience in R and/or Python, including machine learning

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.

Please note, that the initial period of employment will be just under 3 years, from the date of appointment to 31/12/2023. This assignment will provide you with ample opportunities for pursuing a further career in both academia and the industry.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here.

Further information
If you would like additional information about the position, please contact Prof Douglas Kell at If necessary, we will set up an additional phone call to ensure your understanding of the job and your many opportunities

You can also get further information by visiting the home page of the Flux Optimisation and BioAnalysis group at

If you want information on Prof Kell’s Curriculum, you can see his list of publications at

Your complete online application must be submitted no later than 19 February 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

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, disability, race, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.

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