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Research Technician in Microbiology and Biocatalysis

Oxford Suzhou Centre for Advanced Research (OSCAR)

Research topic: Microbiology and Biocatalysis

Location: Building A, 388 Ruo Shui Road, Dushu Lake Science and Education Innovation District, Suzhou Industrial Park, Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, China

Contract type: Fixed-term (3 years), with the possibility of extension.

Principal Investigator: Professor Luet Wong

Technical skills: Microbiology, recombinant enzyme production, biocatalysis, analytical chemistry

Additional information: The post is available from 1 May 2019 or as soon as possible thereafter.

Overview of the role

The OSCAR Research Technician (RT) will work with post-doctoral level Research Scientists (RS) and provide technical support for the research program on the selective oxidation of organic compounds by engineered variants of cytochrome P450 enzymes for applications in the synthesis of intermediates and active ingredients for the fine chemical, agrochemical and pharmaceutical industries.

The post is tenable for three years starting 1 May 2019. The RT will report to Professor Luet Wong, the PI of the program.


  • Perform microbiology, recombinant enzyme isolation, biotransformation and product analysis experiments as directed by the PI and the RS team.
  • Preparation of media for bacterial growth in shake flasks, inoculation, induction of protein production, bacterial harvest by centrifugation, lysis using lysozyme and sonication, enzyme purification by chromatography, in vivo and in vitro biotransformation of organic compounds in microtitre plates and larger scales (up to 1 litre), product extraction and purification by flash silica gel chromatography and liquid chromatography. Detailed methods and full training in all procedures and operation of equipment will be provided.
  • Ensure that chemicals, reagents including gases, glassware and consumables are kept in stock by tracking inventory and re-ordering.
  • Work under the direction of the Saftey Officer to ensure safe collection, storage and disposal of all biological and chemical wastes (both solid and liquid) according to government safety regulations.
  • Assist in keeping microbiology and molecular biology equipment serviced, maintained and in good working order.

Selection criteria


  • Hold or about to graduate with a Masters (MSc) degree in Microbiology/Biochemistry/ Biology or equivalent programs including joint degrees.
  • Laboratory experience in microbiology and enzymology.
  • Relevant knowledge and laboratory experience in techniques in gene cloning and recombinant protein expression.
  • Be a motivated, enthusiastic, organised member of a team.
  • Be willing to learn new techniques and apply them in an interdisciplinary research environment to expand and improve technical and theoretical knowledge.
  • Be able to keep detailed laboratory records and report on progress at regular intervals.
  • Excellent English reading skills and good English speaking and writing skills.


  • Relevant knowledge and laboratory experience with analytical techniques such as gas chromatography and high performance liquid chromatography.

One RT is required to provide technical support for the RS team on enzyme variant expression in E. coli, enzyme isolation, in vitro and in vivo biotransformation, product analysis, and smooth running of the research effort by maintaining stocks of reagents and minor equipment. A second RT is required for the management and upkeep of the suite of the Molecular Science Group’s analytical equipment; if appropriate, appointment at Senior RT level will be considered for which the remit will extend more widely within OSCAR and may include supporting the Environmental Health and Safety Supervisor. Further details are available for download here.

This is an exciting opportunity to establish and develop research activities in brand new laboratories fully-equipped and resourced for synthetic biology, organic synthesis, and materials chemistry. The work will be done in collaboration with research groups in Oxford and there will be the opportunity to undertake 1–2-month research visits there.

OSCAR was created as a partnership between the University of Oxford and the Suzhou Industrial Park The building comprises 20,000 m2 of space distributed over nine floors and will house translational collaborative research originating from twelve academic research groups from the University of Oxford’s Departments of Chemistry, Engineering Science, and Materials. Researchers in the Molecular Science Group (PIs: Moloney, Robertson, Wong) have dedicated brand new office and laboratory space, with adjacent analytical and spectroscopic equipment, including 400 MHz NMR, IR, UV, GC, analytical and preparative SFC-MS, GPC, and surface analytical and processing instrumentation. Further details and an image gallery are available at

How to apply

Applicants should submit a covering letter and CV in English as a PDF attachment by email to before the closing date of 12:00 midday on 29th March 2019. The email subject should specify the title of the post for which you are applying, and you must include your full name and telephone number.

Location: Suzhou - China
Salary: A competitive remuneration package will apply
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
Placed On: 28th January 2019
Closes: 29th March 2019
Job Ref: 6007-2018-3
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