Motivation and Goals of this position

Refolding of proteins from Inclusion Bodies (IBs) poses a viable alternative to soluble expression of proteins, since the IBs consist of the target protein with high purity, high concentrations, and high stability. Recently, these benefits outweighed the difficulties introduced with the low yields of necessary solubilization and subsequent refolding operations, leading to a huge potential for the commercial production of proteins based on IB processes. Still, in the absence of generic platform technologies, for efficient product recovery, refolding conditions must be optimized based on the specific characteristics of the target protein. Here, effective refolding depends on the refolding environment influenced by critical process parameters like the pH, the redox system, and the temperature, as well as on features like buffer composition, feed-strategies, and the addition of a co-factor, if necessary.

The enzyme Galactose Oxidase (GalOx) catalyzes the reaction of primary alcohols to their corresponding aldehydes having a broad substrate spectrum making it a promising candidate for various applications in the pharmaceutical- and food industry.

Within this project the recovery yield of a GalOx refolding process should be elevated by optimization of its process parameters. Hence, refolding conditions should be analyzed in small scale experiments before the process is scaled and transferred to a lab-scale bioreactor. Finally, different process operation modes should be compared in the controlled environment of the bioreactor to further increase the efficiency of the refolding process.

Adapted from Tyedmers, et al.,(2010). Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol 11, 777–788

Requirements

  • Master studies in Biotechnology, Bioprocess technology, Biochemistry, or a related field
  • Experience in bioanalytical methods and standard lab work
  • Sensitivity for data analysis and statistical assessment of large data sets (Python, MATLAB®) is advantageous.
  • Curiosity and patience to transfer established methods to the emerging field of protein refolding.
  • A superior command of English
  • You should be accustomed to networked, critical, and analytical thinking, be scientifically interested and be able to work in a team respecting tight project timelines.

Opportunities

  • Work in a multidisciplinary team on a future-oriented topic
  • Connect with industry and learn their language and thinking
  • Intensification of skills in the field bioprocess technology and bioanalytics

Time-frame and salary

This work will be done at TU WIEN, Research Area of Biochemical Engineering and can start in August 2021. It is scheduled for 6 months and compensated with 300 € per month.

We looking forward to your application!