Postdoctor in Microbiology

Ref PAR 2022/1556

The University of Gothenburg tackles society’s challenges with diverse knowledge. 56 000 students and 6 600 employees make the university a large and inspiring place to work and study. Strong research and attractive study programmes attract scientists and students from around the world. With new knowledge and new perspectives, the University contributes to a better future.

The Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine, at the Institute of Medicine, conducts translational research primarily on metabolism, diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease in order to improve health and healthcare in the community. The overall goal is to create an excellent translational research environment of a very high international standard.

The normal gut microbiota constitutes up to 90% of the cells in our body. By combining clinical material and gnotobiotic animal models we have demonstrated that the gut microbiota may affect our physiology and metabolism. Our working hypothesis is that the gut microbiota affects our physiology through metabolites that are produced by the bacteria. We are now recruiting a postdoctoral fellow to investigate activity and function in microbial enzymes for production of bioactive flavonoid metabolites and their effect on glucose metabolism.

Subject area 

Microbiota and metabolism.

Subject area description 

The gut microbiota contains 1000-fold more genes than our own genome. Several of these microbial genes encode enzymes that can produce bioactive metabolites. Even if we just started to scratch the surface it has begun to be obvious that several of these metabolites may have profound effect on our physiology and metabolism. For example, they can increase or decrease insulin sensitivity and other metabolic phenotypes. One group of such metabolites are flavonoids present in food that are metabolized further by the gut microbiota, but little is known in this process.


Identify the bacteria and enzymes that are required for production of metabolites that correlate with improved glucose metabolism in humans. The applicant will also clone genes and express these potential enzymes and determine the enzyme kinetics. Thereafter will the applicant produce mutants for these enzymes to explore metabolite production in vivo. Finally, mice will be treated with the metabolites in order to directly demonstrate effects on glucose metabolism.


To qualify as a postdoctoral researcher the applicant should hold a PhD in a relevant subject. Since postdoctoral constitutes a qualifying appointment for junior researchers, we aim to target those who have a doctoral degree not older than 3 years.

Assessment criteria 

Strong background in microbiology, molecular biology and enzyme biochemistry is a requirement. Experience of anaerobic culturing of bacteria and genetic manipulation of lactobacilli are strong merits. Knowledge in metabolomics as well as industrial and/or international experience are merits. It is essential that the applicant is creative, can work independent, but also interact with other researchers and clinicians within a greater team, and great emphasis will be placed on personal suitability. Knowledge in English, in both writing and verbally, are requirements.


Type of employment: Fixed-term employment, 36 months Extent: 100 % Location: Institute of Medicine, Gothenburg First day of employment: As soon as possible or according to agreement.

Contact information 

Fredrik Bäckhed, Professor, +46(0)70-2182355,

Malin Levin, Head of Department,


Union representatives at the University of Gothenburg can be found here: 

Information for International Applicants

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Please attach PhD certificate with the application, if the PhD certificate has not yet been issued, it needs to be attached latest at the time when the employment decision is to be made.

Submit your application via the University of Gothenburg’s recruitment portal by clicking the “Apply” button. It is your responsibility to ensure that the application is complete as per the vacancy notice, and that the University receives it by the final application deadline.  

Applications must be received by: 2022-12-01

The University works actively to achieve a working environment with equal conditions, and values the qualities that diversity brings to its operations.

Salaries are set individually at the University.

In accordance with the National Archives of Sweden’s regulations, the University must archive application documents for two years after the appointment is filled. If you request that your documents are returned, they will be returned to you once the two years have passed. Otherwise, they will be destroyed.

In connection to this recruitment, we have already decided which recruitment channels we should use. We therefore decline further contact with vendors, recruitment and staffing companies.