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Industrial PostDoc in Microbial Community Modeling

Do you want to pioneer science and improve food and health for more than 1 billion people every day?
At Chr. Hansen, we work to improve food and health and our natural ingredients are consumed by more than 1 billion people every day.

Our success is built on more than 140 years of innovation and a commitment to ensure the wider adoption of natural ingredients. This allows us to expand innovations into new areas, and to  continue working towards a better world. As a global market leader in bioscience, we have the opportunity to address important global challenges such as food waste, healthy living and sustainable agriculture – and we need the brightest and most passionate people on board to succeed. Want to join us?

A career with Chr. Hansen 
Joining Chr. Hansen is your opportunity to make a meaningful difference while taking part in pioneering science. Our founder, Christian D. A. Hansen, was a true entrepreneur and that mentality is still very present and valued today as we look for new talent to strengthen our team. We value people who can come up with new ideas and who want to form their own work practice and methods.

We believe that engagement matters, and therefore we strive to make an optimal environment for development by promoting a collaborative culture with the passion to make a difference.

About the position / Who are we looking for
A skilled and motivated postdoctoral researcher to work in one of Innovation Fund Denmark’s Grand Solution projects, FoodTranscriptomics

About the project
Food cultures are commonly based on a microbial community rather than a single microorganism. The overall function of the culture, which dictates the characteristics of the food product, is largely modulated by the metabolic interactions of the community members. Identifying the role of individual strains within a community and their intertwined metabolic dependencies is a crucial, yet challenging, step towards the rational design of food cultures. FoodTranscriptomics is an ambitious project sponsored by Innovation Fund Denmark (IFD) in the period 2017 - 2020. The project aims at creating future flavor solutions in fermented food, with focus on cheese and wine, by deciphering the microbial activity in food fermenting cultures. This is achieved via the integration of different types of omics data together with mechanistic microbial community models. The project is coordinated by Chr. Hansen and includes academic partners from the University of Copenhagen (Denmark), Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (The Netherlands) and The European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL; Heidelberg, Germany). 

Your Tasks
Your primary role will be the generation of community-level understanding of the mechanisms underlying key interspecies interactions during cheese making, using constraint-based modeling approaches. The overall objective is to generate testable hypotheses and identify rational approaches for microbial community design.

The following activities will be among your tasks:

  • Refining and expanding existing genome-scale network reconstructions of different strains in cheese starter cultures
  • Applying microbial community modeling approaches for identifying interspecies interactions and simulating community phenotype
  • Engaging with other project partners in developing and optimizing different approaches for integrating metagenomics and metatranscriptomics data into microbial community models
  • Participating in experimental design for the generation of metagenomics and metatranscriptomics data and hypothesis validation
  • Participating in the preparation of internal reports and scholarly articles for publications

Your Personal Profile:

  • PhD in Bioinformatics, Systems Biology or equivalent
  • Documented experience in genome-scale network reconstruction and constraint-based modeling
  • Proper knowledge of microbial community modeling frameworks
  • In-depth understanding of microbial metabolism and physiology
  • Programming skills in Python, Matlab, R or equivalent
  • Previous experience in analysis and visualization of NGS or other types of high-throughput omics data. Experience in metagenomics and/or metatranscriptomics data analysis will be advantageous
  • Documented scientific excellence in the form of high quality publication record
  • Ability to drive your own work and generate new ideas
  • Ability to professionally interact with multiple internal stakeholders and external partners
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills in English

Department-profile
The successful candidate will join the Computational Systems Biology Department at Chr. Hansen and become a member of a rapidly evolving team of competent bioinformatics and systems biology scientists with great development potential. The department is part of the Bacterial Physiology Unit, which contains two other departments, Strain Development and Experimental Systems Biology, with a total of 23 employees. As part of the Discovery function in our R&D organization, the Bacterial Physiology Unit aims at bridging the gap between academic research and new product development through in-depth understanding of bacterial physiology and elucidation of molecular mechanisms underlying desirable industrial traits. 

We offer
We offer a 2-year postdoctoral position in a stimulating, international workplace within a professional organization focused on linking solid scientific research to business opportunities. Our academic partners in FoodTranscriptomics are world-renowned experts in the areas of Systems Biology and Environmental Microbiology.

Miscellaneous
For further questions related to the position, please contact Ahmad Zeidan, Department Manager (+45 4574 8361).

Please apply on-line.  Here you can also enter your details into our CV-bank.

Deadline for applications is December 2. We advise you to submit your application as soon as possible since we will be processing incoming applications continually.

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