Postdoc position in Biocatalytic Synthesis of Bioplastic Copolymers

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Postdoc position in Biocatalytic Synthesis of Bioplastic Copolymers


A postdoc position is available at the Biochemistry and Industrial Biotechnology Laboratory, University of Verona (Department of Biotechnology). The position is part of a research project recently funded by MUR (PRIN 2022) entitled: Discovery and Engineering of Improved Biocatalysts for the Synthesis of Biodegradable Plastic Copolymers (BioCat4BioPol).

The main objective of BioCat4BioPol to design and optimise biocatalysts capable of performing a controlled synthesis of biodegradable plastic polymers. This will be done by taking advantage of artificial intelligence algorithms and computational models. The project is a collaboration between the Department of Biotechnology of the University of Verona (UNIVR), the Department of Chemical, Pharmaceutical and Agricultural Sciences of the University of Ferrara (UNIFE) and the Institute of Biophysics (IBF) of the National Research Council (CNR).

Postdoc’s major responsibilities:
Main tasks of the postdoc fellow will be to: i) express, purify, and characterize native and engendered PHA synthases and Lactate (LA)-polymerizing enzyme (LPE), and 2) use the best enzyme candidates to set up the synthesis of bioplastic homo- and co-polymers. Most of your working time will be devoted to your own research, in collaboration with PhD students and Postdocs from other research units. As a Postdoc, you are expected to communicate scientific results orally (scientific meetings and conference presentations) as well as in writing (preparation of manuscripts).

The candidate must have a PhD degree in Biotechnology, Biology, or equivalent, preferably with a focus on enzymes characterization. Ideal candidates have previous experience with recombinant enzyme expression, purification, and biochemical characterization. Relevant techniques and instruments include: FPLC, HPLC, UV-vis spectroscopy, enzyme assays, microplate reader, and bacteria transformation. Previous experience with PHA synthases is a merit but not mandatory. Due to the interdisciplinary nature of the work, the candidate is expected to have good collaboration skills. A positive attitude and an inclination to face challenges are key features of the successful candidate.

Position summary:
Full-time 18 months temporary employment. Future extensions are possible based on the availability of funding. Earliest indicative start date: November 2023.

How to express interest in the position, and gather more information about the project:
You are welcome to send your curriculum vitae to