Tuesday, January 1, 2008

PhD in System Biology - Wageningen University (Netherlands)

Systems Biology is a rapidly developing scientific discipline that aims at explaining, predicting and controlling the complex cellular and physiological phenomena of living organisms in terms of the underlying chemical and physical processes and the involved feedback regulations. The current project aims to investigate the metabolism of the thermophilic bacterium Caldicellulosiruptor saccharolyticus, which is known for its high capacity to produce hydrogen. According to various recent reports, hydrogen will be an important renewable energy carrier in the future.

For thermodynamic reasons, hydrogen production is more feasible at elevated temperatures and fermentation studies have shown that C. saccharolyticus can indeed produce relatively high amounts of H2. The complete genome sequence was analysed recently and a DNA micro-array system has been established. The focus of the project will be on the main pathways leading to hydrogen, and quantitative data on key enzymes and metabolites need to be determined.

Caldicellulosiruptor saccharolyticus will be cultured under defined conditions (chemostat) and the physiological, biochemical and genetic response will be analyzed by different techniques (transcriptomics, metabolomics, and biochemistry). The data obtained will be used to mathematically model the various interactions at the cellular level. This project will be carried out in close collaboration with an ongoing biohydrogen project.

Required education/skills:University Graduate Recently obtained Masters degree in Biology, Molecular Sciences, or Biotechnology. Basic knowledge of microbial genetics and/or physiology. Practical experience with anaerobic culturing and analytical techniques such as HPLC, GC and MS techniques is desirable. Affinity with mathematical modelling is considered an advantage. Good communication skills (written, oral) in English.

Job type: Research / Advising
- Research trainees, non-tenured lecturers, researchers(Scientific discipline: Natural Sciences)

Agrotechnology & Food Sciences Group
Laboratory of Microbiology
AFSG is the organisation for development and transfer of knowledge in the field of sustainable applications of agro-components for safe and healthy food and non-food products.

Conditions of employment
Estimated maximum salary per month: eur 2500 - 3000
Salary: scale 10.
Maximum salary amount in Euro’s a month 2502
Employment basis: Temporary for specified period
Duration of the contract: 1 3 years
Maximum hours per week: 38

Additional conditions of employment:
The PhD will be appointed for a fulltime position for 4 years at the Laboratory of Microbiology at Wageningen University. Gross maximum salary per month € 1956 in the first year, growing to €2502 in the last year based on full-time employment.

Hay-profile: AIO (PhD student).
You will be member of a multidisciplinary research group of senior scientists, post-docs, and PhD students and you will have access to state-of the art facilities and equipment.

Additional Information
Additional information about the vacancy can be obtained from:

Dr. Servé Kengen
Telephone number: 0317 483737
E-mail address: serve.kengen[at]wur.nl

You can apply for this job before 29-12-2007 (dd-mm-yyyy) by sending your application to:

Wageningen UR - AFSG
bode 118
K. den Ridder
P.O. Box 17
6700 PD Wageningen
E-mail: afsg-vacatures[at]wur.nl
When applying for this job always mention the vacancynumber AFSG 07.155.