Master Thesis (m/f/d) | Process development for the biocatalytic synthesis of oligosaccharides

Max Planck Institute for Dynamics of Complex Technical Systems, Magdeburg

Type of Job

Young Researchers

Structural and Cell Biology Chemistry Complex Systems

Job offer from February 27, 2023


Biocatalytic synthesis is a promising approach for producing valuable oligosaccharides that have applications in the pharmaceutical and food industries. The team for synthetic biotechnology has developed multiple enzymatic cascade reactions for the synthesis of activated sugar building blocks. In this master project, the focus will be on the development of a process based on these enzymatic cascade reactions. To this end, tasks like screening, optimization, up scaling, downstream processing and analytics have to be addressed. We are looking for a highly motivated candidate, with excellent knowledge on biotechnology and comfortable working both independently and in a team.

The working packages are:

  • Bacterial cultivation for the production of biocatalysts in litre scale
  • Enzyme production by using state-of-the-art vector systems
  • Upscaling of the biocatalytic synthesis of one selected oligosaccharide
  • Downstream processing of the reaction product by chromatographic methods
  • Analytics with HPAEC-UV/PAD

The student will have the opportunity to work on key technologies and use state-of-the-art equipment in an international group of both experienced and aspiring researchers. In-depth supervision and training will be provided by the MPI staff.


  • Background in Biotechnology, Bioprocess Engineering, Process Engineering, Chemical Engineering
  • Experience with lab work and ideally, experience with one of the following techniques: recombinant protein expression, bioreactor fermentation, chromatography, biocatalysis, downstream processing
  • Structured and independent working ethic
  • Good communication skills in the English language
  • Teamwork, motivation and interest in applied science

We offer

  • Exciting research projects and the opportunity to work with key technologies
  • Professional supervision by an experienced team
  • Hands on experience in the fields of biocatalysis, downstream processing, enzyme expression and reaction analytics


Please send your application in English and include your CV and transcript of records to the contact below.

The Max Planck Society is committed to increasing the number of individuals with disabilities in its workforce and therefore encourages applications from such qualified individuals. Furthermore, the Max Planck Society seeks to increase the number of women in those areas where they are underrepresented and therefore explicitly encourages women to apply.


Spring / Summer 2023


Edgar Alberto Alcalá Orozco, M.Sc.
Phone: +49 1523 7352 614

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