PhD Student in Photo Biocatalysis (Early Stage Researcher) - ESR9

Wageningen University and Research
October 11 2017
Position Type
Full Time
Organization Type
Light-activated coenzyme biomimetics in oxidoreductases for photobiocatalysis


We are looking for an enthusiastic PhD researcher interested in discovering and studying (photo)biocatalytic reactions. The research is set in biocatalysis, using oxidoreductase enzymes to catalyse key redox reactions leading to useful chiral building blocks for pharmaceuticals. The expensive nicotinamide cofactor required by oxidoreductases acts as an electron donor or acceptor by releasing or accepting a hydride in a one-step two electron transfer. The development of inexpensive synthetic nicotinamide coenzyme biomimetics (NCBs) has led to a major breakthrough for C=C bond reducing enzymes, and the PhD work will be dedicated to apply the same concept to other oxidoreductases. In addition to the lower cost, using light-activated NCBs could give access to non-natural redox reactions in these enzymes.

The project involves organic synthesis, biocatalysis and molecular biology. The PhD candidate will be involved in the synthesis of new robust NCBs, their characterisation, and their light activation for electron transfer within oxidoreductases, as well as producing the enzymes.

The PhD student will be in a double degree program with the Ruhr University of Bochum performing a secondment placement (6 months) working on in vitro photobiocatalysis with redox-engineered photosystems from photosynthetic bacteria, complemented by a research stay (3 months) in industry.

This job comes from a partnership with Science Magazine and Euraxess

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