• PhD position offered at the Laboratory of Biochemistry III

We are seeking a highly motivated graduate student with a master`s degree in Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Biotechnology, Genetics, or related areas, and with an excellent academic record.

The student must show experience in molecular biology and genetic engineering, and a strong interest in research to pursue a PhD in the context of the project funded GLYCODESIGN by the Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación, and within the objective: METABOLIC ENGINEERING OF THE YEAST FOR THE PRODUCTION OF GLYCOSYLCERAMIDES ANALOGUES AS IMMUNOREGULATORS

Candidate must apply for the Fellowship FI 2021 (AGAUR, Generalitat de Catalunya) to fund the PhD position (deadline October the 20th), as well as other similar Fellowships from other agencies.

Research topic

Glycosphingolipids have attracted attention in immunotherapies due to their role in innate and adaptive immunity. They activate NKT cells when presented by CD1d proteins and induce the release of anti-inflammatory cytokines with Th1 and Th2 responses. The Th1 responses mediates protective immune functions as tumor rejection and antimicrobial responses whereas the Th2 mediates regulatory diseases functions ameliorating autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis or arthritis.

Natural and synthetic GSL have been assayed as immunostimulants for cancer and autoimmune diseases and in vaccine formulations for infections diseases. The alfa-galactosylceramide first extracted from a marine sponge and known as KRN7000, is a potent agonist able to bind to CD1d proteins and activate invariant NKT cells rapidly secreting cytokines with Th1 and Th2-biased responses. Although the well-recongized impact of GSL in human health, their applications are hampered by their limited availability and lack of efficient synthetic strategies. The aim of the project is to develop a metabolic engineering platform based on yeast for the production of glycosylceramides.

Find more information at:
This project is part of a collaboration with the laboratory of Dr. Marjan de Mey of Center of Synthetic Biology of Ghent University).


Application deadline: Thursday October 15th 2020

The applicant should submit:

  • Letter of motivation
  • A CV including work experience and academic record
  • At least one name and e-mail address of a scientist/professor willing to write a reference letter.

In order to apply for the FI-2021 Fellowship, further documentation will be required by October 20th at 14:00h (Barcelona time). Further information on the process can be found here

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