Phd Student Position (M/F/D) In Probiotic Engineering

The INM research group Bioprogrammable Materials is looking for an enthusiastic PhD student with experience in genetic engineering. We combine synthetic biology and biomaterials to develop smart platforms for therapeutics and sensing applications in the form of Engineered Living Materials. We are seeking to fill a 3-year funded PhD student position for a project involving the engineering of probiotic bacteria to autonomously sense disease markers and regulate the production and release of drugs from them.

 Major duties/responsibilities

  • Genetic engineering of stimuli-responsive production of a therapeutic protein in probiotic coli and lactobacillus by designing and incorporating various genetic modules in plasmids
  • Analysis and optimization of release profiles and bioactivity of the therapeutic protein from the modified bacteria. This can also involve in vitro experiments with mammalian cells
  • Encapsulation of bacteria in hydrogels and analysis of their performance
  • Active participation in the research activities of the group in close collaboration with other team members
  • Publish scientific papers and present results at international meetings

To propel training in this new field, the student will also be provided access to the activities and resources of the Leibniz Science Campus on Living Therapeutic Materials ( – a multidisciplinary consortium of research groups within the campuses of the Saarland University, working together on this topic.

We are seeking a person with a degree in biotechnology, biochemistry, microbiology or related fields, with practical experience in bacterial genetic engineering. Candidates should be self-motivated, have good interpersonal, communication and presentation skills, and a demonstrated ability to interact effectively with staff at all levels. The ability to work as a member of an international, multi-disciplinary team is a critical asset, and proficiency in English is mandatory.

Interested candidates should submit their complete application by email to Dr. Shrikrishnan Sankaran ( with the following:

  • Motivation letter (included directly in text of the email – max. 1 page)
  • CV (max 2 pages)
  • Publication list (if available)
  • Academic transcripts
  • Contact details of 2 references

The deadline for submission is Feb 28, 2023

The INM practices an open and appreciative corporate culture in which the existing diversity is promoted and lived. The institute is an equal opportunity employer with a certified family-friendly policy, and it provides offers for a better work-life balance, flextime, and mobile working. We promote professional opportunities for women and strongly encourage them to apply. Severely disabled applicants with equal qualifications and aptitude will be given preferential consideration.

The INM – Leibniz Institute for New Materials is located in Saarbrücken/Germany, at the heart of the German/French/Luxembourg/Belgian Greater Region. We are an internationally leading center for materials research, a scientific partner to national and international research institutions, and a provider of research and development for companies throughout the world.  The INM is an institute of the Leibniz Association with about 250 employees.