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Joined: Sun Jan 10, 2021 12:17 pm

PhD position in Bacterial Synthetic Biology

Sun Jan 10, 2021 12:29 pm

Hi iGEMers!

The INM research group, Bioprogrammable Materials ( ... materials/), is looking for an enthusiastic PhD student with experience in bacterial genetic engineering. We combine synthetic biology and biomaterials to develop smart platforms for therapeutics and sensing applications. One exciting research line involves the development of Living Materials for stimuli-responsive drug delivery using genetically engineered living bacteria encapsulated within hydrogels. The bacteria are engineered to produce drugs on-demand, in response to external triggers such as small-molecules, light, heating, etc. Towards therapeutic applicability, we plan to program such functions in probiotic bacteria and for such projects, we are seeking to fill a 3-year funded position for a PhD student.


Major duties/responsibilities
• Genetic engineering of stimuli-responsive production of a therapeutic protein in E. coli and lactic acid bacteria by designing and incorporating various genetic modules in plasmids and bacterial chromosomes
• Analysis and optimization of release profiles and bioactivity of the therapeutic protein from the modified bacteria. This will also involve in vitro experiments with mammalian cells
• Encapsulation of bacteria in hydrogels and analysis of their performance
• Active participation in the research activities of the group in close collaboration with other team members
• Publish scientific papers resulting from this research and present results at international meetings

To propel training in this new field, the student will also be provided access to the activities and resources of the Leibniz Science Campus on Living Therapeutic Materials ( - a multidisciplinary consortium of research groups within the campuses of the Saarland University, working together on this topic.

We are seeking a person with a degree in biotechnology, biochemistry, microbiology or related fields, with practical experience in bacterial genetic engineering. Candidates should be self-motivated, have good interpersonal, communication and presentation skills, and a demonstrated ability to interact effectively with staff at all levels. The ability to work as a member of an international, multi-disciplinary team is a critical asset, and proficiency in English is mandatory. Since we work on application-oriented research, candidates with entrepreneurial interests are appreciated.

Interested candidates should submit their complete application by email to Dr. Shrikrishnan Sankaran ( with the following:
• Motivation letter (included in the text of the email - max. 1 page)
• CV (max 2 pages)
• Publication list
• Academic transcripts
• Contact details of 2 references

The deadline for submission is Jan 31st, 2021.

The INM is an equal-opportunity employer with a certified family-friendly policy. We promote professional opportunities for women and strongly encourage them to apply.
The INM – Leibniz Institute for New Materials is located in Saarbrücken/Germany, at the heart of the German/French/Luxembourg/Belgian Greater Region. We are an internationally leading center for materials research, a scientific partner to national and international research institutions, and a provider of research and development for companies throughout the world. The INM is an institute of the Leibniz Association and has about 250 employees.


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