Metabolic modelling of Clostridium acetobutylicum for biomass valorisation



Scientific disciplines

Biosciences and Biotechnologies

Research direction

Catalysis, Biocatalysis and Separation

Affiliate site


Through various research programs, IFP Energies nouvelles is now strongly involved in the development of bioprocesses to produce biofuels and bio-based chemical intermediates. 
The optimization of bioprocesses requires a deep knowledge of the involved micro-organism. The metabolism of Clostridium acetobutylicum, a model organism used at IFP Energies Nouvelles, has gained understanding over the past few years, with the use of cutting-edge and dedicated genetic tools such as CRISPR-Cas9. The acquired knowledge can now be used to build in silico metabolic models that can predict the effect of genetic alterations on the micro-organism’s fermentation capacities, to drive the carbon flux towards products of interest. 
To establish an efficient metabolic model, the selected candidate will enrich the most advanced existing metabolic model using state-of-the-art omics techniques and newly acquired knowledge. The available gene-editing tools will be used to validate the approach employed, while their combination with new tools developed during the thesis will allow to redirect the flow of carbon in this micro-organism, with the aim of producing metabolites of interest in the field of bio-based chemistry.
The successful candidate must have a research master's level with a specialization in biotechnology, microbiology and/or bioinformatics.

Keywords: Genetic engineering, anaerobic microbiology, Fermentation, Clostridium, metabolic modelling, 

  • Thesis director and IFPEN supervisor   Dr François WASELS, ORCID: 0000-0002-4641-0270
  • Academic supervisor    Prof. Philippe SOUCAILLE, INSA Toulouse, ORCID: 0000-0002-1724-7136
  • Doctoral School    ED 581 ABIES , Université Paris Saclay
  • PhD location    IFPEN, Rueil-Malmaison, France
  • Duration and start date    3 years, starting in the fourth quarter 2024 (November 4)
  • Employer    IFPEN
  • Academic requirements    Five years of higher education (engineering school or master’s degree) with a specialization in biotechnology, molecular biology, or biological engineering.
  • Language requirements    English level B2 (CEFR)
  • Other requirements    Initial professional experience (fixed-term contract, permanent contract) in the research field would be a plus. Skills in microbiology, molecular biology, genetics, and bioinformatics. Knowledge in computer programming (Python, MATLAB, R) and fermentation engineering would be a plus.

To apply, please send your cover letter and resume including references to the IFPEN supervisor indicated below.

Encadrant IFPEN :
Dr François WASELS