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Horizon Postdoctoral Fellowships

Engineering post-translational glycosylation in protein biologics through enzyme biocatalysis

Reference number: 14003
Supervisor: David H. Kwan

Program description

The research group of Dr. David H. Kwan is inviting applications for a postdoctoral fellow on a project to enzymatically engineer protein post-translational modification in biopharmaceuticals (biologics).

Biologics or biopharmaceuticals are an increasingly important class of therapeutics. These therapeutics consist of biological materials and are most commonly proteins. Protein biologics include hormones, enzyme replacement therapies, protein-based vaccines, and therapeutic antibodies. Therapeutic antibodies alone are considered to be the most rapidly growing drug class. A major challenge with the biomanufacturing of these protein-based biopharmaceuticals is the need for proper post-translational modification. In particular, post-translational glycosylation is required to assemble sugar building-blocks into the appropriate carbohydrate structures attached to the protein chain for the proper function and bioactivity of most biologics.

In this context, the postdoctoral fellow will develop and apply new strategies using enzymes as biocatalytic tools to engineer and remodify the glycosylation of protein biologics. Outcomes of this research have potential for high impact on biomedical research and biotech industry.

Academic qualifications required

Applicants must hold a PhD in biochemistry or molecular biology (or a related discipline) with experience in enzymology and protein engineering. Experience with protein-carbohydrate interactions or with carbohydrate-active enzymes will be valued.

Eligibility requirements

  • Applicants must not currently hold a postdoctoral appointment at Concordia
  • Priority will be given to postdoctoral fellows who have obtained their PhD from another university although in exceptional cases Concordia graduates may be considered
  • Applicants must adhere to the postdoctoral fellow eligibility criteria outlined in Concordia University’s Postdoctoral Policy


Horizon position is expected to be filled as soon as possible but no later than March 1, 2024.

Submission process

  • All documents must be submitted to David Kwan
  • Please include the reference number with your application

Application checklist

  • One to three (1-3) page research statement demonstrating fit with the program described above 
  • Current curriculum vitae demonstrating research excellence and a capacity for leadership in the domain (maximum 5 pages)
  • Two letters of reference from academic supervisors or current employers to be sent via e-mail directly to David Kwan


The prestigious two-year Horizon Postdoctoral Fellowships are valued at $50,000 per year plus benefits and full access to Concordia’s services, including GradProSkills.

Concordia University is a vibrant research and teaching environment, with state-of-the-art research facilities and many research centers. Concordia is located in Montreal, Canada, a diverse and creative city, often ranked as offering one of the best quality of living experiences in North America.

Concordia University is committed to Employment Equity and encourages applications from women, Aboriginal Peoples, visible minorities, ethnic minorities, and persons with disabilities.

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