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Two Postdoc Positions in Alkaloid Biosynthesis and Transport

The Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, Section for Plant Biochemistry offers two Postdoc positions in Alkaloid Biosynthesis and Transport. Starting date: 1 August 2018 or as soon as possible thereafter.

Background
Alkaloids are a very large family of natural products with a wide range of bioactivities. Despite decades of alkaloid research, many biosynthetic pathways towards important plant-derived alkaloids remain obscure (e.g. pilocarpine). In addition, many plant-derived alkaloids are known to be transported long-distance from their sites of synthesis to their final storage sites, but the corresponding transport mechanisms remain poorly understood (e.g. the lupin alkaloids). The Geu-Flores group (http://cpsc.ku.dk/meet-the-scientists-page/fernandos-geu-flores-lab/) is a multi-disciplinary research group that combines organic chemistry with molecular biology in a quest to uncover how plants synthesise and transport alkaloids. Biotechnological applications include the production of medicinal alkaloids in cost-effective systems and the removal of anti-nutritional alkaloids from promising crops.

Job description
The two succesful candidates will join the Geu-Flores group and will collaborate on the following research projects: 1) The elucidation of the biosynthetic pathway towards the medicinal alkaloid pilocarpine, and 2) The discovery and characterization of transporters involved in the translocation of toxic alkaloids into lupin beans. Apart from experimental research, the postdocs’ duties will include supervision of students, participation in local seminar series, drafting of research manuscripts, and participation in teaching activities. The post may also include performance of other duties.

Qualifications

  • A PhD degree in Chemistry, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, or similar
  • English language proficiency
  • A strong, genuine interest in working with plant natural products
  • A natural, strong curiosity about the intricate workings of biological systems
  • Good interpersonal skills and a collaborative disposition
In addition, priority will be given to candidates with one or more of the following:
  • Experience in organic chemistry/structure elucidation or analysis of RNA-seq datasets
  • Experience in enzyme purification/assays or transporter assays (e.g. Xenopus oocytes)
  • Experience in analytical chemistry or cellular localization of gene expression
Research Environment
The Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences (PLEN) constitutes a highly competitive, stimulating, and international research environment, with infrastructure that includes a Metabolomics Platform as well as Plant Grown Facilities. Within PLEN, the Geu-Flores group belongs to the Section for Plan Biochemistry, which has a long history of elucidating plant biosynthetic pathways, including cyanogenic glucosides, glucosinolates, and terpenes. Further information on the Department is linked at http://www.science.ku.dk/english/about-the-faculty/organisation/.
For the lupin alkaloid transport project, the selected postdocs will collaborate with the group of Hussam Nour-Eldin at the Section for Molecular Plant Biology (http://dynamo.ku.dk/people/nour-eldin/). For the pilocarpine biosynthesis project, the selected postdocs will collaborate with the groups of Guilherme Oliveira (Vale Institute of Technology, Belém, Brazil) and Thomas Sicheritz-Pontén (Technical University of Denmark, DTU). Inquiries about the positions can be made to Fernando Geu-Flores (feg@plen.ku.dk).

Appointment length and start date
The positions are full-time (37 working hours per week), two-year appointments.. The start date is 01 August 2018 or as soon as possible thereafter.

The University wishes our staff to reflect the diversity of society and thus welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background.

Terms of employment
The position is covered by the Memorandum on Job Structure for Academic Staff.

Terms of appointment and payment accord to the agreement between the Ministry of Finance and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State.

The starting salary is currently up to DKK 419.772 including postdoc supplement (+ pension up to DKK 71.781). Negotiation for salary supplement is possible.

The application, in English, must be submitted electronically by clicking APPLY NOW below.

Please include
  • Cover letter
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Diplomas (Master and PhD degree or equivalent)
  • Description of previous and current research (max. 2 pages incl. figures and references)
  • Complete publication list
  • Separate reprints of 3 particularly relevant papers
  • Names and contact information of two references
The deadline for applications is 2 May 2018, 23:59 GMT +2.

Appointment procedure
After the expiry of the deadline for applications, the authorized recruitment manager selects applicants for assessment on the advice of the Interview Committee.

You can read about the recruitment process at http://employment.ku.dk/faculty/recruitment-process/.

Interviews will be held on 30 May 2018.


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