Postdoctoral Postion in Modeling and Control of Metabolic Networks for Bioproduction

Royal Institute of Technology


Postdoctor in Modeling and Control of Metabolic Networks for Bioproduction


Kungliga Tekniska högskolan,


KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm has grown to become one of Europe’s leading technical and engineering universities, as well as a key centre of intellectual talent and innovation. We are Sweden’s largest technical research and learning institution and home to students, researchers and faculty from around the world. Our research and education covers a wide area including natural sciences and all branches of engineering, as well as architecture, industrial management, urban planning, history and philosophy.


Job description

The biopharmaceutical industry is a large and profitable field. Bioproduction has evolved from being based on bacterial systems towards production based on mammalian cells in a majority of biological drugs. The production is taking place in intracellular metabolic reaction networks. The legacy is to grow cell cultures in fed-batch bioreactors, but the field is rapidly evolving as a result of new trends and a constantly increasing competition. In this perspective, integrated continuous bioprocessing, i.e. a process consisting of a perfusion cell culture where medium is steadily added, has received significant attention both from industry and academia. This interest is rapidly increasing and nearly all the large Pharma/Biotech companies are looking into this type of intensified process

Optimization and control will play a key role in enabling production using perfusion cultures. This will in turn require dynamic models of the underlying intracellular reaction networks and the cell cultures. Through several projects we intend to create a sustainable world class environment for modeling and control of intracellular networks and cell cultures for bioproduction. Currently the team involves two Full Professors with specializations towards data driven modeling and control, two postdocs and 1 PhD student.

The open postdoc position is associated with the new Centre for Advanced BioProduction, AdBIOPRO, led by KTH, and in collaboration with Lund University and Karolinska University Hospital as well as seven Swedish companies in the Biopharmaceutical/Biotech industry, including GE Healthcare. The Centre focuses on bioproduction based on mammalian cells, with the objective to respond to the paradigm shift  towards continuous processing, and with the intention of becoming world leading.

The postdoc project concerns model based control and optimization of intracellular networks and cell cultures by manipulating culture media and other process parameters. It involves developing methodolgies for mechanistic metabolic network modeling, parameter estimation and experiment design for such models, optimizing cell metabolism through media feeds for perfusion, and feedback control  of perfusion processes. The project is in close collaboration with the School of Chemistry, Biotechnology and Health at KTH, world leading in perfusion and hosting extensive laboratory facilities, and our industrial partners, with the ultimate objective to verify methodologies in an industrial setting.

In summary, the project has an ambitious scope, spanning model development for bioprocesses, algorithm development for data driven network modeling, optimization, and control design, and in which industrial relevance will be ensured through the use of laboratory and industrial data and verification. An interesting challenge is to integrate methods from data analytics and machine learning in this context.

We seek candidates with a background in modeling of reaction networks, (parameter) estimation and  off- and on-line optimization (such as Model Predictive Control), preferably with applications in bioproduction.


We seek candidates with a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering, Chemical Engineering or Biotechnology. The candidates should have a strong background from at least one of the areas biosystems modeling, system identification or model based control, and experience from at least one more of these areas.

There are high requirements on outstanding research and publication record. Well-developed analytical and problem solving skills are also required. We are looking for a strongly motivated person, who is able to work both independently and in collaboration with others. Good command of English orally and in writing is required to present and publish research results.


A doctoral degree in a relevant area obtained within the last three years prior to the application deadline. 

Great emphasis will be placed on personal competence and suitability.

Trade union representatives

You will find contact information to trade union representatives at KTH's webbpage.


The application should contain the following:

  1. Full curriculum vitae including your relevant academic, professional, and other achievements, experience and knowledge
  2. Copy of the degree certificate(s) from your previously attended university-level institutions, with certified translations in English (unless provided so by the issuing institution)
  3. Statement of purpose: What are your academic interests, how does the project relate to your previous studies and future goals; maximum 2 pages long
  4. List of publications and copies of two representative publications or technical reports no longer than 10 pages each. For longer documents (e.g. theses), please provide a summary (abstract) and a web link to the full text
  5. Letters of recommendation
  6. Contact information for two reference persons

Log into KTH's recruitment system in order to apply to this position. You are responsible to ensure that your application is complete according to the instructions in the ad.

Your complete application must be received by KTH no later than the last day of application, midnight

CET/CEST (Central European Time/Central European Summer Time).

The employment is time limited to 1 year with possibility of extension with 1 more year.

About the employment

The position offered is for, at the most, two years

A position as a postdoctoral fellow is a time-limited qualified appointment focusing mainly on research, intended as a first career step after a dissertation.

Other information

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Disclaimer: In case of discrepancies between the Swedish original and the English translation of the job announcement, the Swedish version takes precedence.


Type of employment Temporary position longer than 6 months
Contract type Full time
First day of employment Prefereably as soon as possible, or according to agreement
Salary Monthly
Number of positions 1
Working hours 100%
City Stockholm
County Stockholms län
Country Sweden
Reference number J-2019-3287
Felicia Gustafsson,
Håkan Hjalmarsson,
Elling Jacobsen,
Published 19.Dec.2019
Last application date 15.Feb.2020 11:59 PM CET


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