(SENIOR) SCIENTIST: ENZYME DESIGN AND SCREENING

Oxford Biotrans is a start-up company pioneering the commercialization of biocatalytic processes for the production of high value specialty chemicals. The company seeks to appoint an experienced scientist to take a lead in the design and screening of new cytochrome P450 enzymes.

The Role

Based at our new facilities in the Oxford area, the jobholder will have a keen interest to define and lead programmes of R&D that will target specific biotransformations. The role will involve hands-on design, evolution and screening of enzymes. The role will entail supervision of junior scientists and require a close liaison with others responsible for process development based upon your work.

Typical for all start-up companies, there may be a variety of other tasks outside the main role specification that the jobholder may need to undertake at the request of the company to help move this early-stage business forward. For an outstanding performer there would be the opportunity to shape the role as the company develops.


The Person

• Scientist with qualification (PhD) in appropriate technical area, probably biochemistry and several years’ post-doctoral experience
• Experience in:
o Design and evolution of mutant enzymes with improved performance in the target biotransformations
▪ Functional expression of enzyme families and classes
▪ Application of rational protein engineering, directed evolution, synthetic metagenomics and other approaches for enzyme redesign with the goal of improving expression, solubility, activity, substrate specificity and product profile
▪ Deep understanding of protein library design and statistical analysis of experimental data
▪ Knowledge of enzyme mechanisms and chemistry of metabolic pathways

▪ Some experience or awareness of appropriate molecular modelling/bioinformatics tools and machine learning approaches would also be desirable.

o Screening of enzymes for (cell-free and whole-cell) biotransformation of organic substrates
▪ A good understanding of the structure/function relationships of enzymes (esp. P450s) and enzyme kinetics
• Specific experience with P450s would be a strong advantage
• Appropriate knowledge of/skills in molecular biology sufficient at least for manipulation, transformation and expression of mutants for screening purposes
• Design and implementation of biochemical assays for screening performance:
o Application of DOE methods to reduce assay variability and increase reproducibility
o Experience of in vitro and in vivo enzyme assay development and characterization of enzyme kinetics
• Experience with techniques for analysis, isolation and characterisation of organic compounds (such as GC, HPLC, GC-MS, HPLC-MS, NMR) would be desirable
• Good organizational skills and experience in supervising (a team of) junior scientists
• Ability to develop experimental work-programmes to address business objectives
• Ambitious and keen to develop a career in industrial biotechnology
• Self-starter who can quickly take the initiative in problem solving
• Professional, mature, confident and a good team-worker
• Excellent written and verbal communication skills (English language)
To discuss further, please forward a CV and covering letter to Katie Cook via info@oxfordbiotrans.com
Oxford Biotrans Limited is an Equal Opportunities employer that is happy to welcome applications for any applicant who fulfil the role requirements for this position.

See this vacancy on Oxford Biotrans' website.