Research Fellow in Optogenetic and Metabolic Engineering


CNRS@CREATE, located in Singapore, invites applications for a position as Research Fellow (postdoctoral researcher) in metabolic engineering. The research fellow will be hired by CNRS@CREATE and based in Singapore. Singapore is globally recognized for the excellence of its research, education, innovation. We offer a challenging job which is part of an integrative biotechnology project in an international environment. CREATE ecosystem, involving top rated world universities (MIT, Berkeley, Imperial College,…) is an unique opportunity to merge easily several science fields.

This biotechnological transversal program involves an international collaboration between SynCTI NUS and A*STAR – Singapore Institute of Food and Biotechnology Innovation (SIFBI) in Singapore and Toulouse Biotechnology Institute and Toulouse White Biotechnology in France. The goal of the program is to provide new and more robust microorganisms better adapted for their target applications for the circular bioeconomy. Main themes of the project include: enzyme engineering, gene and genome editing, synthetic biology, regulation engineering, protein production, expression and discovery of bioactive compounds across cell factories, fermentation process.

We plan to start in October, depending on the evolution of the coronavirus epidemic.

Job description and main tasks

To be able to direct the metabolism towards a desired intermediate is a current challenge in the development of efficient cell factories for the bioeconomy. To overcome this challenge, we aim to establish generic rules for catalytic assembly through assessing multi-enzymatic systems, using scaffold libraries and dynamic dimerization. Enzymatic spatial organization in vivo will be combined to metabolic pathway regulation. The candidate will primarily work on the design of a reversible enzymes dimerization, based on optogenetic technology and further characterization of the engineered strains.

 Main tasks:

  • Generate light driven assembly constructions focused on the carotenoids enzymes in E. coli and S. cerevisiae.
  • Perform an “in depth” physiological characterization, screening and further optimization of real-time metabolic control assays on an E. coli strain expressing the carotenoids pathway.
  • Combine the spatial regulation with the in house existing optogenetics strains and conduct a fine tuning using circuit pulses designs
  • Actively participate in the CREATE ecosystem (workshop, seminars,…)
  • The candidate is expected to work in the partners’ (SynCTI NUS or A*STAR – SIFBI) laboratories, depending on the phases of the project.
Required education and skills
Candidates should have a PhD degree in biology, biotechnology, bioengineering, or a similar degree with an equivalent academic level. Our ideal candidate has several of the following skills:

  • Microbial physiology and molecular biology
  • State-of-the-art molecular cloning techniques applied to metabolic engineering and strain design.
  • Protein engineering and modelling skills
  • Mathematics applied to metabolism and optogenetics experience is positive but not required
  • Experience with HT-robotics and automation could be useful as the facilities are available.
  • A proven solid research experience at international level and a strong publication record in indexed international research journals.

We expect that the candidate to be an efficient team researcher, have good communication skills, and have a critical approach to formulation and testing of hypotheses.

Salary and Appointment Terms
The appointment will be based on the agreement with the CNRS@CREATE. We offer competitive salary and the period of employment can be up to 3 years. Expected starting date 1st of May 2020, or as soon as possible thereafter.

Salary: gross monthly salary will be minimum s$5000 (12 monthly wages per year)

Bonus: up to 1 month, (conditionally)

Benefits: as a full-time employee, you will be eligible for the benefits that CNRS@CREATE offers.

Further information & contact

Further information may be obtained from Dr Thomas Lautier and Pr Poh Chueh Loo: