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Synthesis of complex oligosaccharides as tools for plant biology

   Department of Chemistry

   Applications accepted all year round  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

The Institute of Organic Chemistry at BOKU is seeking applications for the position of a Research Associate (PhD-student) in the Pfrengle group.

The University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (BOKU), is the prime Austrian education and research institution for renewable resources, which are a necessity for human life. With its wide range of areas of expertise, it is the task of BOKU to contribute significantly to the protection of life resources for future generations. Research in the Pfrengle group centers on the chemical biology of glycans. Key expertise is the chemical and enzymatic synthesis of plant glycans and sugar nucleotides, as well as glycan analysis by NMR-spectroscopy. The synthesized glycans are important probes for biochemical experiments that are relevant in the agricultural sciences. Website:

Your tasks:

  • Performing the chemical synthesis of complex oligosaccharides as molecular tools for studying plant cell wall biology
  • using synthetic organic chemistry (carbohydrate chemistry)
  • supported by the most relevant analytical methods: NMR-spectroscopy and HPLC.
  • Succesfully prepared compounds will be printed as glycan arrays and screened with different carbohydrate-binding proteins.

Your skills/qualifications:

  • MSc-degree in Chemistry (or be in the process of finishing MSc-studies)
  • Strong experimental skills in synthetic organic chemistry, high motivation and enjoyment of research
  • Basic understanding of carbohydrates and their research is recommended.


Gross monthly salary and pay grade in terms of collective agreement for university staff (payable 14 times per year): B1, € 2.228,60. Expected starting date is between 01.02.2022 and 01.05.2022. Applications will be constantly evaluated until the position is filled.

Please send your application including CV, information about BSc- and MSc-grades, cover letter and list with names of potential references to Prof. Fabian Pfrengle ()


C. Ruprecht, M. P. Bartetzko, D. Senf, A. Lakhina, P. J. Smith, M. J. Soto, H. Oh, J.-Y. Yang, D. Chapla, D. Varon Silva, M. H. Clausen, M. G. Hahn, K. W. Moremen, B. R. Urbanowicz, F. Pfrengle
“A Glycan Array-Based Assay for the Identification and Characterization of Plant Glycosyltransferases”
Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2020, 59 (30), 12493-12498
M. P. Bartetzko, F. Pfrengle
“Automated Glycan Assembly of Plant Oligosaccharides and Their Application in Cell Wall Biology“
ChemBioChem 2019, 20, 877-885 (review)

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