Postdoc in Systems and Synthetic Biology at DTU Biosustain

Do you want to break new ground and push the boundaries of what is scientifically possible?

If you have a PhD in metabolic engineering, synthetic biology, microbiology or related areas and you want to work with cutting-edge technologies and be at the very front of the new scientific revolution, this is a job for you to thrive.

At DTU Center of Biosustainability, we aim to achieve the goal of sustainable future by creating novel chemicals, materials, pharmaceuticals and food using microbial cells. You will contribute to the development of new knowledge and technologies to support the transformation from conventional, petroleum-based production to a sustainable bio-based industry. You will have the opportunity to join top scientists from all over the world and make a personal impact in solving some of the most critical challenges the world is facing.

Innovative workflows for building cell factories using state-of-the-art platforms

Your focus is to drive projects by utilizing our newly built Biofoundry that provides state-of-the-art data analytics and automation platforms. With the foundation of high-quality big data generation and analysis, we aim to demonstrate next-generation ‘Design-Build-Test-Learn’ workflows to build microbial cell factories with superior efficiency and predictability, which cannot be achieved otherwise.

More specifically, you will use microorganisms including E. coli, Streptomyces, yeast or Lactobacillus, etc. as host strains. In collaboration with a computational biologist, you will lead one main project with sustainability potential, and support other projects when needed. Your primary tasks include:

  • Handle strategic project planning and progress tracking together with research groups
  • Design and execute genome editing or plasmids construction tasks
  • Work closely with the computational biologists in data analysis and decide new targets for the next DBTL cycle
  • Coordinate with other units in the center, including research groups, Biofoundry and pre-pilot plant.
  • Manage of large data sets, results and registries using our common informatics platforms
  • Present plans and results in group-meetings and other seminars; write publications and IP applications

PhD in molecular microbiology, metabolic engineering, synthetic biology, or related

We are looking for a visionary profile that thrives on turning exciting challenges into solutions based on curiosity and an open mind for entering new paths when necessary. You can naturally drive things forward on your own; equally important is it that you like to create results based on knowledge sharing and positive teamwork – we can simply not succeed if we do not pool our shared knowledge.

As you will manage projects and coordinate with multidisciplinary groups, you must also bring overview and planning skills backed by excellent communication ability in written and spoken English. Additionally, your CV comprises:

  • A PhD in metabolic engineering, synthetic biology, molecular microbiology, food, or related areas
  • Solid skills in molecular biology and bacterial physiology.
  • Good understanding of genome-scale modeling, multi-OMICS data analysis and data-driven modeling – advantageous but not mandatory for applying

The Strain Design Team – your new team

You will join a top-class science team under construction headed by CEO/Prof. Bernhard Palsson. When completed, our team will consist 10 people, including PhD level scientists, technicians and research assistants. The team includes both experimental biologists and computational biologists who work hands in hands. We apply a state-of-art data-driven workflow that allows us to generate and convert data into practical knowledge to design microbial production strains. Our projects focus on creating chassis strains that can be applied for production of sustainable chemicals, new bioactive compounds and microbial foods.

Further information

If you would like additional information about the position, please contact Scientific Lead Dr. Lei Yang at 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 employment will be 2 years, starting as soon as possible.

Your new workplace is DTU’s main campus in Kgs. Lyngby, Copenhagen. 


Your complete online application must be submitted no later than 25 October 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.

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.

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