The research project focuses at investigation of the biochemistry and reactions mechanisms of a class of novel enzymes which catalyze the radical-based addition of fumarate to a number of highly recalcitrant compounds, like hydrocarbons. These fumarate-adding enzymes (FAE) form a subclass of the glycyl radical enzymes which are highly oxygen-sensitive and need to be activated to the radical state by special activating enzymes. The research project is conducted within Beethoven Life DFG-NCN scheme in a close cooperation between the German (Marburg University) and Polish (Jerzy Haber Institute of Catalysis and Surface Chemistry, PAS) partners. The project has following major aims: (A) mutagenesis studies to identify the functions of particular active site constituents and to extend the available product spectra, (B) characterization of other FAE after recombinant expression to investigate the respective accommodations to other substrates and including crystallization of various FAE to extend the structural knowledge basis on these enzymes, (C) studies on the activating enzyme to establish in-vitro activation, (D) multiscale high-level computational investigations of the FAE reaction mechanism, backed up with experimental input, and (E) developing methods to apply FAE and their mutant variants for biotechnological production of novel compounds.

The project employs state-of-the-art techniques from the field of molecular biology and enzymology combined with molecular modelling and engineering of biotechnological processes. The results will improve current understanding of bioremediation processes of environmental contaminations caused by fossil fuel and chemical industries and will deliver fundamental biochemical data which will improve the use of microorganisms in bioremediation of hydrocarbons.

The advertised position will focus on experimental characterization of FAE enzymes and foremost at development of new tools of biotechnological processes to synthesized fine chemicals and substrates for biodegradable polymers.

We offer:

  • Doctoral position at the Krakow Interdisciplinary Doctoral School (standard scholarship of the doctoral school according to the Act)
  • Scholarship as part of the Beethoven Life project (3 years, 4500 PLN / month)
  • Involvement in an interdisciplinary Polish-German research project
  • Very interesting research topic of both basic and application character
  • Opportunity to develop skills in the field of chemistry, biochemistry, microbiology and biotechnology

We are looking for:

  • - students of biological chemistry, biotechnology, biochemistry, biology<BR> - highly motivated to conduct demanding research<BR> - with fluency in English and/or German<BR>
  • Highly motivated to conduct demanding scientific research
  • Fluent in English and / or German

Maciej Szaleniec