PhD Position in Synthetic Biology of Plant Cell Walls (m/f/d)

Leibniz Institute of Plant Biochemistry (IPB), Halle


Glycans densely cover the surface of all life forms. Although carbohydrates are essential for our health, energy and materials needs, these complex molecules are chellenging to study. Most of the organic biomass on Earth is stored in polysaccharide-rich walls, which enable plants to thrive in a remarkable range of environments. The Designer Glycans group seeks mechanistic insight into plant glycan function, synthesis, and modification. Advances in these areas will lead to the production of plants and biopolymers with tunable properties.

We offer a PhD position that is funded for an initial period of three years and is available from February 2021. Salary is according to the German Public Service (65% of E13 TV-L) and includes excellent benefits. This synthetic biology project will use a bottom-up approach to engineer cell walls with new functions, leveraging our recent findings (Voiniciuc et al., 2019, PNAS; Yang et al., 2020, New Phytol; and Robert et al., 2021, bioRxiv). The PhD can-didate will join an ambitious independent junior research group with state-of-the-art facilities for carbohydrate analysis, cell imaging and plant cultivation. The candidate will benefit from an interactive Doctoral Training Program (https://www.ipb-halle.de/en/career/phd-program/) and will have the opportunity to participate in collaborations across borders. Located near the heart of Germany, Halle is a historic city with many cultural attractions and excellent transportation links.

Visit DesignerGlycans.com or contact Catalin.Voiniciuc(at)ipb-halle.de for more information.


Applicants should have or be close to obtaining a MSc degree in biology, biochemistry, or related topics. Knowledge in one or more of the following areas is essential: molecular biol-ogy, microscopy, and protein or carbohydrate biochemistry. Experience with the bioengi-neering of plants or other eukaryotes would be an asset. The candidate should be highly motivated to solve biological puzzles and to become an integral member of an English-speaking team.

How to apply

Applicants are requested to send a motivation letter and CV (as a single PDF file) via email to bewerbungen(at)ipb-halle.de, quoting reference number 5/2021. The Designer Glycans lab is committed to increasing diversity in science and encourages all qualified applicants (re-gardless of race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, religion, or disability) to apply for this position.

Review of applications begins immediately and will continue until the position is filled.

Please notice our data protection information for applicants (m/f/d) according to Article 13 and 14 GDPR concerning data protection processing in the application process: