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MSc thesis research project - Biotransformation of diclofenac

The Department of Isotope Biogeochemistry at the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research GmbH - UFZ offers the following or master thesis:

MSc thesis research project - Biotransformation of diclofenac

MSc thesis research topic for students (m/f) enrolled in a university programme interested to work on the enrichment of microorganisms capable of biotransformation of pharmaceuticals and the characterisation of degradation.
Your duties: Pharmaceuticals have been recognized as ‘emerging contaminants’, causing contamination of groundwater due to insufficient removal in e.g. wastewater treatment. One such pharmaceutical is Diclofenac, a generally used painkiller. Thus far, no microbial strains have been described capable of degrading Diclofenac, however, in our laboratory we enriched microorganisms capable of biotransformation. The aim of this work will therefore be to further enrich, isolate and characterise cultures capable of Diclofenac degradation

The tasks of the planned research include:
  • further enrichment and isolation of diclofenac degrading microorganisms
  • stable isotope probing experiments for investigation of mineralisation and metabolites
  • analysis of products using HPLC and GC-C-IRMS
  • characterisation of the microbial cultures using molecular biological approaches

Your profile: We are looking for a motivated candidate (m/f) currently enrolled in a Diploma or MSc programme with a strong interest in microbiology, biotechnology or similar topics. The thesis can start as soon as possible and will take six to nine months. Additionally, an internship for an introduction to the topic prior to the thesis research is possible. The working place will be Leipzig.
We offer:
  • A good introduction to scientific research
  • Excellent technical equipment
  • Involvement in an interdisciplinary, multinational team
  • Excellent support

How to apply:
Closing date for applications:

Please use our online application system for your application.

More information about jobs at the UFZ:
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Your contact for any questions you may have about the job:
For more information contact Dr. Ivonne Nijenhuis ( or Jan Birkigt (
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About Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, UFZ

The Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ was established in 1991 and has more than 1,100 employees in Leipzig, Halle/S. and Magdeburg. They study the complex interactions between humans and the environment in cultivated and damaged landscapes. The scientists develop concepts and processes to help secure the natural foundations of human life for future generations.

More about Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, UFZ

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