Postdoc position on integrative genome/metabolome mining for marine natural products

Wageningen University


October 15, 2021


Job description

Marine microbiomes are an untapped resource of microorganisms and natural bioactive compounds that constitute a source of candidates for the development of pharmaceuticals and crop protection agents. Computational integration of different types of omics data, such as genomics and metabolomics profiles, constitutes a promising avenue to uncover this potential. In this project, based on foundational work by our group, you will implement innovative computational approaches to chart the biosynthetic diversity found in metagenome sequences from marine microbiomes, connect the predicted biosynthetic gene clusters to metabolites, and use a combination of genomic and metabolomic data to help elucidate chemical (sub)structures. You will construct a database of natural product-acting enzymes from experimentally verified biosynthetic pathways and use this as a basis to computationally predict chemical transformations encoded by newly identified biosynthetic gene clusters, in order to match these to their chemical products observed in the metabolome. Computational integration of genomic, mass-spectrometric and NMR data will be used to facilitate structure approximation of biosynthetic products, which can be used for dereplication, prioritization, and finally structural elucidation.

You will work closely with PhD students and postdocs appointed within the same consortium around Europe, which will make it possible to elucidate the structures of the chemical products and confirm the ecological roles of the pathways you identify. In the end, the research is projected to lead to fundamental new insights into microbe-microbe and host-microbe interactions, and may provide leads for the development of novel pharmaceuticals and crop/aquaculture protection solutions.



We are looking for an ambitious, enthusiastic team player and result-driven scientist with:

  • an excellent academic record (PhD) in bioinformatics or computational biology;
  • affinity with (microbial) metabolism and omics analyses;
  • demonstrable expertise in working with genomic and/or metabolomic data;
  • proven proficiency in programming (in, e.g., Python);
  • at least basic to intermediate statistical and mathematical skills;
  • excellent oral and written communication skills in English.
  • ,

    Conditions of employment

    Wageningen University & Research offers excellent terms of employment. A few highlights from our Collective Labour Agreement include:

  • sabbatical leave, study leave, and paid parental leave;
  • working hours that can be discussed and arranged so that they allow for the best possible work-life balance;
  • the option to accrue additional holiday hours by working more, up to 40 hours per week;
  • there is a strong focus on vitality and you can make use of the sports facilities available on campus for a small fee;
  • a fixed December bonus of 8.3%;
  • excellent pension scheme.
  • In addition to these first-rate employee benefits, you will of course receive a good salary. Depending on your experience, we offer a competitive salary of between €3270,- and €4207.- for a full-time working week of 38 hours, in accordance with theCollective Labour Agreements for Dutch Universities (CAO- NU)(scale 10). The position is full-time (38 hours/week), for a period of two years.

    Wageningen University & Research encourages internal advancement opportunities and mobility with an internal recruitment policy. There are plenty of options for personal initiative in a learning environment, and we provide excellent training opportunities. We are offering a unique position in an international environment with a pleasant and open working atmosphere. You are going to work at the greenest and most innovative campus in Holland, and at a university that has been chosen as the "Best University" in the Netherlands for the 16th consecutive time.

    Coming from abroad Wageningen University & Research is the university and research centre for life sciences. The themes we deal with are relevant to everyone around the world and Wageningen, therefore, has a large international community and a lot to offer to international employees. Applicants from abroad moving to the Netherlands may qualify for a special tax relief, known as the 30% ruling. Our team of advisors on Dutch immigration procedures will help you with the visa application procedures for yourself and, if applicable, for your family.

    Feeling welcome also has everything to do with being well informed. Wageningen University & Research's International Community page contains practical information about what we can do to support international employees and students coming to Wageningen. Furthermore, we can assist you with any additional advice and information about helping your partner to find a job, housing, schooling, and other issues.


    Employer Wageningen University & Research

    Wageningen University & Research The mission of Wageningen University and Research is "To explore the potential of nature to improve the quality of life". Under the banner Wageningen University & Research, Wageningen University and the specialised research institutes of the Wageningen Research Foundation have joined forces in contributing to finding solutions to important questions in the domain of healthy food and living environment.

    With its roughly 30 branches, 6.800 employees and 12.900 students, Wageningen University & Research is one of the leading organisations in its domain. An integrated approach to problems and the cooperation between various disciplines are at the heart of Wageningen's unique approach. WUR has been named Best Employer in the Education category for 2019-2020.

    Read the 5 reasons why your future collaegues enjoy working at WUR and watch this video to get an idea of our green campus!

    We will recruit for the vacancy ourselves, so no employment agencies please. However, sharing in your network is appreciated.


    Additional information

    For more information about this position, please contact dr. Marnix Medema ( or Justin van der Hooft ( more information about the procedure, please contact

    Do you want to apply? You can apply directly using the apply button on the vacancy page on our website which will allow us to process your personal information with your approval.

    This vacancy will be listed up to and including 7 October 2021.

    In this first round please only send your resume and motivation letter. Any other documents will not be taken into consideration at this stage.

    Equal opportunities Wageningen University & Research (WUR) employs a large number of people with very different backgrounds and qualities, who inspire and motivate each other. We want every talent to feel at home in our organisation and be offered the same career opportunities. We therefore especially welcome applications from people who are underrepresented at WUR. For more information please go to our inclusivity page. A good example of how WUR deals with inclusiveness can be read on the page working at WUR with a functional impairment.

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