The Aalto University in Finland is inviting applications for the Master Thesis in Synthetic Biology for the 2019/2020 academic session.

The methanogen, Methanosarcina acetivorans can naturally use methanol, methylated substrates (e.g. methylamine, trimethylamine, etc) and acetate as carbon sources. This project aims to endow M. acetivorans the ability to use other carbon sources as growth substrates via metabolic pathway engineering. Combined with the outstanding methane production ability of M. acetivorans and its natural high tolerance to environmental stresses, the result of this project has a high potential of industrial application especially in wastewater treatment.

The call is open, but the position might be filled before the deadline. Aalto University reserves the right for justified reasons to leave the position open, to extend the application period and to consider candidates who have not submitted applications during the application period.

Worth of Award

The successful applicants will;

  • Have the opportunity to use the cutting edge technique CRISPR to perform genetic engineering on M. acetivorans.
  • Learn more molecular cloning techniques which you do not learn from classes.
  • Play with the central metabolism of M. acetivorans.


To be considered eligible;

  • You must be are an ambitious and hard-working student.
  • The candidate should be are passionate about science, and enjoy the outcome of your research work.
  • You are good at molecular cloning.

How to Apply

The application should include the following:

  • Cover letter (start as follows: “I am interested in this position because… “)
  • CV
  • Transcript, of course, records with grades
  • Names and contact details of references

Note: This is a six-month paid master thesis project. Most experiments will be performed in the research group of Professor Silvan Scheller. The master project will be supervised by postdoctoral researcher Jichen Bao. The project will start according to the agreement with the student.


Deadline: Application closes on August 31, 2019.


Click here for more details and to apply

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