Postdoc in Whole Genome Sequencing and Disinfectant Resistance for Improving Food Safety

Tuesday 13 Oct 20

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Identification of bacteria is crucial, as different measures and actions will be taken depending on whether food pathogens are detected, mostly at the genus or species level. However, the identification techniques used today are time-consuming, and more importantly, lack the resolution to differentiate between strains of the same species. Such strain-level diversity could affect the recognition of the risk level, important phenotypic properties such as resistance to disinfectants and consequent decision actions. Certainly, these limitations can be resolved by whole-genome sequencing (WGS) technology. The lack of genetic insight and access to advanced computing facilities is a major hurdle for the food industry to apply WGS technology in practice. 

Considering the importance of Listeria monocytogenes to the food industry especially the dairy industry, this project aims to incorporate WGS data of L. monocytogenes isolates in machine-learning predictors to identify disinfectant-resistance of L. monocytogenes strains. The genetic-based results will be experimentally validated. This project will improve and speed up the decision-making and food safety management of the dairy industry. 

For this, the Research Group for Genomic Epidemiology, National Food Institute, DTU seeks a candidate for a vacant Postdoc position in whole genome sequencing and disinfectant resistance for improving food safety.  

Responsibilities and tasks
You will:

  • be responsible for collecting, characterization and analysis of Listeria monocytogenes isolates for the identification of disinfectant-resistance including sequencing the isolates.
  • be involved in developing and verification of bioinformatics tool for food industrial users to predict the disinfectant-resistance of L. monocytogenes genomes.
  • communicate research results by presenting data at project meetings, international conferences, and write manuscripts for publication. The day-to-day work will be performed in close collaboration with other researchers in the Genomic Epidemiology group and with national and international partners including food industrial partner associated with the project. Collaboration includes active participation in national and international meetings and conferences, sharing of data and results, contribution to joint publications.

Qualifications
Candidates should have a PhD degree or equivalent in Microbiology, Molecular Biology or a similar degree. Preferably candidates with molecular biology or microbiology experimental experiences as there will be wet lab screening work and whole genome sequencing.  


We offer  
DTU is a leading technical university globally recognized for the excellence of its research, education, innovation and scientific advice. We offer a rewarding and challenging job in an international environment. We strive for academic excellence in an environment characterized by collegial respect and academic freedom tempered by responsibility.  

Salary and terms of employment   
The appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed upon with the relevant union. The period of postdoc position is 2 years. 

You can read more about career paths at DTU here. 

Further information
Further information may be obtained from Researcher Pimlapas Leekitcharoenphon, pile@food.dtu.dk, tel.: +45 3588 7183. 

You can read more about the Genomic Epidemiology Research Group at  www.food.dtu.dk/english/Research/Genomic-Epidemiology

Application procedure
Please submit your online application no later than 3 November 2020 (local time)Applications must be submitted as one PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply online", fill out the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one PDF file. The file must include: 

  • Application (cover letter)
  • CV
  • Diploma (MSc/PhD)
  • List of publications

Applications and enclosures received after the deadline will not be considered. 

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, disability, race, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply. 

Research Group for Genomic Epidemiology, National Food Institute, DTU is the WHO Collaborating Centre for Antimicrobial Resistance and the EU Reference Laboratory for Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR), which ensures large international collaborative networks. The research group has been working on genomic epidemiology of various foodborne bacteria including Listeria monocytogenes to predict and prevent infectious diseases in humans and to support global detection and control with an emphasis on AMR and foodborne infections. The group has developed online WGS tools for bacterial genome analysis, which have been accessed by users around the world. The group has full access to Computerome (Danish National Supercomputer for Life Sciences). In addition, the group ensures availability of intellectual expertise and technology to execute the project, including all facilities for molecular biology experiments, bioinformatics facilities, and expertise in whole genome sequencing, metagenomics, and machine learning.

Technology for people
DTU develops technology for people. With our international elite research and study programmes, we are helping to create a better world and to solve the global challenges formulated in the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Hans Christian Ørsted founded DTU in 1829 with a clear vision to develop and create value using science and engineering to benefit society. That vision lives on today. DTU has 12,000 students and 6,000 employees. We work in an international atmosphere and have an inclusive, evolving, and informal working environment. Our main campus is in Kgs. Lyngby north of Copenhagen and we have campuses in Roskilde and Ballerup and in Sisimiut in Greenland.

https://www.food.dtu.dk/english/service/about-the-institute/vacant-positions/job?id=156c8605-3579-433f-a72e-2a2b3af2cf2e
27 OCTOBER 2020