PhD position OT-21968

PhD position in yeast synthetic biology

78350 Jouy en Josas

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INRAE presentation

The French National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food, and Environment (INRAE) is a major player in research and innovation. It is a community of 12,000 people with 272 research, experimental research, and support units located in 18 regional centres throughout France. Internationally, INRAE is among the top research organisations in the agricultural and food sciences, plant and animal sciences, as well as in ecology and environmental science. It is the world’s leading research organisation specialising in agriculture, food and the environment. INRAE’s goal is to be a key player in the transitions necessary to address major global challenges. Faced with a growing world population, climate change, resource scarcity, and declining biodiversity, the Institute has a major role to play in building solutions and supporting the necessary acceleration of agricultural, food and environmental transitions.

Work environment, missions and activities

You will be welcomed in the Micalis Institute, a mixed research unit associating INRAE and AgroParisTech and part of the Université Paris-Saclay.

Its mission is to develop innovative research in the field of microbiology of food for health. The three thematic axes correspond to three research priority areas in close connexion:

 -The emergence and control of opportunist pathogen microorganisms from food origin and the adaptation of bacteria to their environments

-The microbial food and intestinal ecosystems and the functional interactions between food, microbiota and host

-The synthetic and system biology

The thesis project will be carried out in the research team “Cosynus” led by Tristan Rossignol and Young-Kyoung Park in Micalis institute, in the synthetic and system biology division. The team is focused on synthetic consortia for microbial cell factories and has strong expertise in the synthetic biology of the yeast Yarrowia lipolytica which has high potential as an industrial chassis (Park and Ledesma-Amaro, 2023).

Microbial cell factories are regarded as a promising alternative for petrochemical-based production or plant-derived extraction. However, the origin and cost of substrates for bioconversion remains a bottleneck for sustainable, robust and cost effective bioproduction.

The PhD project will take place in the frame of the PEPR ElectroMIC project “Electrochemically-assisted MICrobial community metabolic network optimization for biorefinery of organic waste”. ElectroMIC will developnew technological concept bridging environmental biotechnology to industrial biotechnologies. The project gathers a multidisciplinary consortium of 7 academic partners around microbial electrochemical technologiesand biotechnology.

This PhD project aims to establish versatile and robust Yarrowia lipolytica platform chassis strain to challenge growth constraints in ElectroMIC process. Thanks to the progress in developing synthetic biology tools for this yeast (Larroude, et al., 2018), the chassis will be engineered to use carboxylate from electrofermentation of organic wastes as carbon source to produce high value-added molecules including bio-pigments as proof of principle.

You will be in charge of:

  • Genetic engineering of Yarrowia lipolytica by using synthetic biology tools (Golden gate assembly, CRISPR, etc.)
  • Growth analysis at different scales (microplates, flasks, etc)
  • Omics and metabolites analysis
  • Training of master students

The Micalis unit is a restricted area and recruitment is subject to acceptance by the Ministry.

Training and skills

Master's degree/Engineering degree

- Recommended training: Master internship in synthetic biology, molecular biology

- Knowledge required: Molecular biology, Synthetic biology, Sustainable bioproduction

Appreciated experience: Molecular cloning including multigene assembly and CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing, Yeast engineering and cultures

Skills sought: Communications, Organizing, Dissemination (written and oral)

We are looking for highly motivated candidates in metabolic engineering, synthetic biology and microbial biotechnology field. Previous experiences in molecular biology and yeast engineering will be preferred. The position requires excellent communication skills including English (speaking and writing), organizing skills in multiple tasks, and the ability to work independently but also cooperatively with colleagues in the frame of the consortium.

INRAE's life quality

By joining our teams, you benefit from (depending on the type of contract and its duration):

- up to 30 days of annual leave + 15 days "Reduction of Working Time" (for a full time);
parenting support: CESU childcare, leisure services;
- skills development systems: trainingcareer advise;
social support: advice and listening, social assistance and loans;
holiday and leisure services: holiday vouchers, accommodation at preferential rates;
sports and cultural activities;
- collective catering.

How to apply

I send my CV and my motivation letter

Offer reference

  • Contract: PhD position
  • Duration: 3 years
  • Beginning: 01/10/2024
  • Remuneration: 2044.12€ /brut mensuel
  • Reference: OT-21968
  • Deadline: 25/05/2024


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