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PhD-position ‘Monitor, model and master the dynamics of yeast central metabolism’

Voor 1.0 fte
Vacaturenummer 17006
VU onderdeel: Extern

VUnet Vacatures afbeelding 04 Engels
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is one of the leading institutions for higher education in Europe and aims to be inspiring, innovative, and committed to societal welfare. It compromises ten faculties and has teaching facilities for 23,000 students.

The Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam –together with TU Delft, TU Eindhoven and DSM- will start a project to study the regulation of central metabolism of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, an important workhorse in the industrial biotechnology. The project will take place in the Systems Bioinformatics group from the Amsterdam Institute for Molecules, Medicines and Systems (AIMMS). The group, led by profs Bas Teusink and Frank Bruggeman, currently has 13 PhD students and 5 postdocs (www.teusinklab.nl).

Job / Project Description

In industrial fermentations, poor mixing results in highly dynamic conditions in nutrients and oxygen availability, which complicates rational metabolic engineering and scale up processes. In this project we will combine (13C) metabolomics and real-time, compartment-specific metabolite sensors with enzyme acticity measurement, (phospho)proteomics and advanced dynamic modeling to monitor, model and master the dynamics of yeast central metabolism at an unprecedented scale. We aim for a level of coarse-graining that provides an operational understanding of glycolysis, pentose phosphate pathway, trehalose and glycogen metabolism, TCA cycle and oxidative phosphorylation, under dynamic nutrient and oxygen feeds.

The project hires three PhD students: one at the VU (Bas Teusink; biochemistry, cell physiology), one at TU Delft (Aljosha Wahl; metabolomics/fluxomics) and one at TU Eindhoven (Natal van Riel; modeling).


The PhD candidate at the VU will produce cell physiological data, enzyme kinetics, and in vivo metabolite data using FRET-based sensors, under dynamic conditions. This data will be integrated in the consortium with the data from DSM and TU Delft into a computer model. This model will then, in an iterative cycle, inform the next experiments to be performed.


We are looking for a highly motivated, critical, and ambitious PhD candidate with a background and experience in microbial physiology, biotechnology or biochemistry, with an experience in -or affinity with- both experimental and computational approaches. You are eager to work in a research consortium in a multidisciplinary and dynamic setting. You are flexible and willing to travel and work in different labs.

Further particulars

The appointment will be for a period of 1 year with potential for extension to a total duration of 4 years.
You can find information about our excellent fringe benefits of employment at www.workingatvu.nl like:
• a wide range of sports facilities which staff may use at a modest charge;
• remuneration of  8,3% end-of-year bonus and  8% holiday allowance;
• generous contribution (65%) commuting allowance based on public transport;
• discounts on collective insurances (healthcare- and car insurance).

We aim to start the project on the 1st of March 2017.


The salary will be in accordance with university regulations for academic personnel, and amounts € 2.191,- gross per month in the first year up to € 2.801,- in the fourth year (salary scale 85) based on a full-time employment.


For additional information please contact prof dr. Bas Teusink (b.teusink@vu.nl).


Applicants are requested to write a letter, in which they describe their abilities and motivation, accompanied by their curriculum vitae and the names and contact information of at least two referees. Written applications should be sent before 1st of February 2017 by email to: b.teusink@vu.nl.
Please mention the vacancy number in the e-mail header.

Any other correspondence in response to this advertisement will not be dealt with.

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