Postdoctoral position in biochemistry of cyanobacterial CO2 fixation

Published: 2022-06-28

Uppsala University is a comprehensive research-intensive university with a strong international standing. Our ultimate goal is to conduct education and research of the highest quality and relevance to make a long-term difference in society. Our most important assets are all the individuals whose curiosity and dedication make Uppsala University one of Sweden’s most exciting workplaces. Uppsala University has over 54,000 students, more than 7,500 employees and a turnover of around SEK 8 billion.

The Department of Chemistry – Ångström conducts research and education in the chemistry field. The department has more than 250 employees and has a turnover of 250 million SEK. At the department’s six programs, we conduct very successful research of a high international standard. We have a large number of externally funded research projects, often with international cooperation and we see continued good growth in our subject area. The department has education assignments in engineering programs and master’s programs. More information is available on our website.

We are searching for a biochemist, structural biologist, biophysicist or similar for a 2 year postdoc position within Cecilia Blikstad’s group. Research within the group focus on biochemical investigations of CO2 fixation in cyanobacteria. 

Rubisco is responsible for the majority of CO2 fixation on Earth. Despite this centrality, it is a relatively slow and promiscuous enzyme. To overcome this, cyanobacteria have evolved a CO2 concentration mechanism (CCM) which produces a high CO2 concentration near Rubisco and ensure efficient carboxylation. The CCM consist of inorganic carbon transporters that actively accumulate bicarbonate in the cytosol and a protein based bacterial organelle called the carboxysome. 

The carboxysome encapsulate Rubisco and carbonic anhydrase within a protein shell. It remains unknown exactly how this 250+ megadalton protein complex self-assembles and regulates with high fidelity inside cells. We use a combination of biochemistry, enzymology, structural biology, synthetic biology and bioinformatics to study various aspects (function, structure, assembly, regulation etc.) of the cyanobacterial CO2 concentrating mechanism. You will work in a project focusing on protein interactions, regulation, and activity of the carboxysome and its encapsulated enzymes. The acquired knowledge will lead the way for downstream applications aiming at enhancing photosynthetic efficiencies in future microorganisms and crops. For more information visit the lab website .  

At the department we have a close collaboration with experts in cyanobacterial synthetic biology and our combined greater goal is to address global warming and food shortage by converting atmospheric CO2 into valuable products such as biofuel, specialized chemicals and food. We have a highly creative research environment, and our projects provide many opportunities for interaction and collaboration within the department as well as with outside collaborators. 

Read more about our benefits and what it is like to work at Uppsala University

Duties
The main duties involved in this postdoctoral posistion is to conduct research within the subject area mentioned above. Supervision of degree projects and doctoral students. Teaching may also be included, but up to no more than 20% of working hours. 

Requirements
For employment as postdoc, the applicant should have a PhD exam or an international equivalent within the field of biochemistry, structural biology, biophysics, biotechnology or other for the position relevant fields. The degree needs to be obtained by the time of the decision of employment. Those who have obtained a PhD degree three years prior to the application deadline are primarily considered for the employment. The starting point of the three-year frame period is the application deadline. Due to special circumstances, the degree may have been obtained earlier. The three-year period can be extended due to circumstances such as sick leave, parental leave, duties in labour unions, etc.

Very good oral and written proficiency in English.

The assessment of applications is based primarily on the applicant’s ability to conduct independent research based on scientific skill. Greater importance is attached to the quality of individual scientific work, than to the amount of publications. 

Large enphasis will be put on personal qualities. Consideration will be given to good collaborative skills, good analytical skills, drive and independence, and interest in the subject area. 

Additional qualifications
Advanced knowledge and/or practical experience in the following will be beneficial.

  • Practical and theoretical skills in biochemistry and/or structural biology or similar.
  • Cunducting, interpretating and publishing biochemical studies.
  • Experience in protein biochemistry including but not limited to protein purification, protein-protein interactions, enzymology or structural biology.
  • Experience in molecular biology including but not limited to molecular cloning.
  • Experience in photosynthetic microorganisms will be considers benificial but not required.  

About the employment
The employment is a temporary position of two years according to central collective agreement. Scope of employment 100%. Starting date 2022-10-01 or as agreed. Placement: Uppsala, Sweden

For further information about the position, please contact: Cecilia Blikstad, cecilia.blikstad@kemi.uu.se.

Please submit your application by 23rd August 2022, UFV-PA 2022/2730

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Submit your application through Uppsala University’s recruitment system.

Deadline: 2022-08-23 at 23:59
Unit: Department of Chemistry – Ångström Laboratory

Read the job description at the university homepage or apply.

Post expires on Tuesday August 23rd, 2022