Postdoc in applied microbiology: development of bioprocesses for the formation of bio-based products from CO/CO2/H2/N2 and bio-waste - [ Postdoc ]

Workplace: Torino, IIT@Polito
Added on: 17/04/2019 - Expires on: 02/05/2019

The successful candidate will be part of  the Systems and Synthetic Biology Research Line at our Center for Sustainable Future Technologies in Turin, which aims at tapping the potential of (photo-) autotrophic bacteria in order to foster resource-efficient, low-carbon and economically viable bio-process solutions. Nowadays microbiology, molecular biology, biochemistry and chemical engineering collectively enable the rational engineering of efficient bio-factories. The to be applied strongly depend on the molecule of interest and the nature of the required production process, e.g. enhanced production of native compounds or production of heterologous products. Therefore, the isolation and practical implementation of suitably tailored strategies is a very  challenging task. 

Activities will focus on the following tasks:

  • Quantitative physiology of bacteria applied to the development of bioprocesses for the formation of bio-based products from CO/CO2/H2/N2 and bio-waste;
  • Mastering microorganisms with enhanced or novel production capabilities through strain development, which can imply the examination of non-native pathways compatibility with the host strain (substrate and co-factor availability) and pathways optimization;
  • Quantification of performances of a bio-process through the estimate of the parameters associated with the productivity of the compound of interest in different growth conditions (e.g. enrichment for substrates and/or co-factors, co-substrates employment);
  • Process optimization through the combinatorics-based analysis of the operational parameters associated with the bio-reactor environment (e.g. pressure, stirring speed, and relative fluxes and composition of gaseous substrates, volume scale);
  • Process implementation in the diverse envisaged experimental conditions at laboratory scales;
  • Determination of analytical methods suitable to bio-products quantification on a case-by-case level;
  • Under-graduate and post-graduate students supervision;
  • Writing of sscientific proposals focused on the development of advanced bio-refineries sourcing their input and handling their production process in sustainablee ways;
  • Deliver results of research and innovation activity in peer-reviewed journals and at international conferences;
  • Network with our project partners and present our activities in consortia.

Skills and competencies for the development of the activity:

- A PhD degree in Chemical Engineering;

- Previous experience in an Applied Microbiology laboratory;

- Acquaintance with bio-reactor unit operations;

- Previous experience with anaerobic autotrophic microorganisms;

- Comfort/experience with quantitative data analysis or modeling;

- Pro-active orientation and commitment to innovation;

- Strong communication and time-management skills to drive quality results;

- Ability to work creatively and independently.

For a formal application, please send a CV, a cover letter describing your previous work and career goals, and names and contacts of 2 referees to by May 2, 2019 quoting “Post doc CB 76660”in the subject line.

Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, with its headquarters in Genoa, Italy, is a non-profit institution with the primary goal of creating and disseminating scientific knowledge and strengthening Italy's technological competitiveness. IIT was established in 2003 and successfully created a large-scale infrastructure in Genova, a network of 10 state-of-the-art laboratories countrywide and recruited an international staff of about 1200 people from more than 50 countries. IIT's research endeavour focuses on high-tech and innovation, representing the forefront of technology with possible application from medicine to industry, computer science, robotics, life sciences and nanobiotechnologies.

Please note that the data that you provide will be used exclusively for the purpose of professional profiles’ evaluation and selection, and in order to meet the requirements of Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia.

Your data will be processed by Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, based in Genoa, Via Morego 30, acting as Data Controller, in compliance with the rules on protection of personal data, including those related to data security.

Please also note that, pursuant to articles 15 et. seq. of European Regulation no. 679/2016 (General Data Protection Regulation), you may exercise your rights at any time by contacting the Data Protection Officer (phone +39 010 71781 - email: dpo[at]

Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia is an Equal Opportunity Employer that actively seeks diversity in the workforce.

Involved Research lines
Systems and Synthetic Biology


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I numeri di IIT

L’Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT) è una fondazione di diritto privato - cfr. determinazione Corte dei Conti 23/2015 “IIT è una fondazione da inquadrare fra gli organismi di diritto pubblico con la scelta di un modello di organizzazione di diritto privato per rispondere all’esigenza di assicurare procedure più snelle nella selezione non solo nell’ambito nazionale dei collaboratori, scienziati e ricercatori ”.

IIT è sotto la vigilanza del Ministero dell'Istruzione, dell'Università e della Ricerca e del Ministero dell'Economia e delle Finanze ed è stato istituito con la Legge 326/2003. La Fondazione ha l'obiettivo di promuovere l'eccellenza nella ricerca di base e in quella applicata e di favorire lo sviluppo del sistema economico nazionale. La costruzione dei laboratori iniziata nel 2006 si è conclusa nel 2009.

Lo staff complessivo di IIT conta circa 1440 persone. L’area scientifica è rappresentata da circa l’85% del personale. Il 45% dei ricercatori proviene dall’estero: di questi, il 29% è costituito da stranieri provenienti da oltre 50 Paesi e il 16% da italiani rientrati. Oggi il personale scientifico è composto da circa 60 principal investigators, circa 110 ricercatori e tecnologi di staff, circa 350 post doc, circa 500 studenti di dottorato e borsisti, circa 130 tecnici. Oltre 330 posti su 1400 creati su fondi esterni. Età media 34 anni. 41% donne / 59 % uomini.

Nel 2015 IIT ha ricevuto finanziamenti pubblici per circa 96 milioni di euro (80% del budget), conseguendo fondi esterni per 22 milioni di euro (20% budget) provenienti da 18 progetti europei17 finanziamenti da istituzioni nazionali e internazionali, circa 60 progetti industriali

La produzione di IIT ad oggi vanta circa 6990 pubblicazioni, oltre 130 finanziamenti Europei e 11 ERC, più di 350 domande di brevetto attive, oltre 12 start up costituite e altrettante in fase di lancio. Dal 2009 l’attività scientifica è stata ulteriormente rafforzata con la creazione di dieci centri di ricerca nel territorio nazionale (a Torino, Milano, Trento, Parma, Roma, Pisa, Napoli, Lecce, Ferrara) e internazionale (MIT ed Harvard negli USA) che, unitamente al Laboratorio Centrale di Genova, sviluppano i programmi di ricerca del piano scientifico 2015-2017.

IIT: the numbers

Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT) is a public research institute that adopts the organizational model of a private law foundation. IIT is overseen by Ministero dell'Istruzione, dell'Università e della Ricerca and Ministero dell'Economia e delle Finanze (the Italian Ministries of Education, Economy and Finance).  The Institute was set up according to Italian law 326/2003 with the objective of promoting excellence in basic and applied research andfostering Italy’s economic development. Construction of the Laboratories started in 2006 and finished in 2009.

IIT has an overall staff of about 1,440 people. The scientific staff covers about 85% of the total. Out of 45% of researchers coming from abroad 29% are foreigners coming from more than 50 countries and 16% are returned Italians. The scientific staff currently consists of approximately 60 Principal Investigators110 researchers and technologists350 post-docs and 500 PhD students and grant holders and 130 technicians. External funding has allowed the creation of more than 330 positions . The average age is 34 and the gender balance proportion  is 41% female against 59% male.

In 2015 IIT received 96 million euros in public funding (accounting for 80% of its budget) and obtained 22 million euros in external funding (accounting for 20% of its budget). External funding comes from 18 European Projects, other 17 national and international competitive projects and approximately 60 industrial projects.

So far IIT accounts for: about 6990 publications, more than 130 European grants and 11 ERC grants, more than 350 patents or patent applications12 up start-ups and as many  which are about to be launched. The Institute’s scientific activity has been further strengthened since 2009 with the establishment of 11 research nodes throughout Italy (Torino, Milano, Trento, Parma, Roma, Pisa, Napoli, Lecce, Ferrara) and abroad (MIT and Harvard University, USA), which, along with the Genoa-based Central Lab, implement the research programs included in the 2015-2017 Strategic Plan.