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  3. PhD position: Machine Learning for iterative metabolic engineering

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PhD position: Machine Learning for iterative metabolic engineering

Metabolic engineering enables the development of microbial production strains that efficiently produce bioproducts by re-routing cellular fluxes. The …

2 maanden geleden


Mekelweg, Delft, Zuid-Holland
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
38 - 40 uur
€ 2395 - € 3061 per maand


Metabolic engineering enables the development of microbial production strains that efficiently produce bioproducts by re-routing cellular fluxes. The increasing availability of biological data provides unique opportunities to speed-up the engineering process through machine learning approaches. A key challenge is to predict which genetic changes will have the desired metabolic outcome in an industrial setting. You will investigate how AI methods can support efficient exploration of a large solution space, for metabolic flux optimization, genetic engineering, and ultra-high-throughput screening. You will apply your developed methods to iterative rounds of strain improvement for producing a food, feed or nutritional ingredient at DSM.

This project is part of the Artificial Intelligence Lab for Biosciences, the AI4B.io Lab (www.ai4b.io), that TU Delft and Royal DSM recently established. It is the first of its kind in Europe to apply artificial intelligence (AI) to full-scale biomanufacturing, from microbial strain development to process optimization and scheduling. The AI4B.io Lab is part of the Dutch National Innovation Center for AI (ICAI) and starts with five synergistic research projects. You will contribute to DSM’s challenges regarding developing bio-based products and optimizing industrial-scale biobased processes. You will have access to real industrial R&D and/or factory data, work in an industrial as well as an academic environment, and have the opportunity to develop entrepreneurial skills as the AI4B.io Lab collaborates with the Biotech Campus Delft and Planet b.io; an excellent learning and research environment


You hold an MSc degree or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to a two-year master's degree in either Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence, Bioinformatics, Mathematics, or a similar area and have an interest in Synthetic Biology. Candidates should possess a strong background in data analytics and be familiar with scripting languages such as R or Python. You enjoy gaining, combining, and translating knowledge from multiple fields. You can demonstrate that you have an entrepreneurial mindset


TU Delft offers PhD-candidates a 4-year contract, with an official go/no go progress assessment after one year. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, increasing from € 2395 per month in the first year to € 3061 in the fourth year. As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. The TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment with an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor. The Doctoral Education Programme is aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills.

The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, discounts on health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. For international applicants we offer the Coming to Delft Service and Partner Career Advice to assist you with your relocation.

Additional information

For more information about this vacancy, please contact Thomas Abeel, Ph.D. (t.abeel@tudelft.nl) or Joep Schmitz, Ph.D. (joep.schmitz@dsm.com).