Postdoctoral Research Associate - Biology

University of Washington

Job Description

Postdoctoral Research Associate - Biology


Job Description


Position Summary

This full-time position will focus on developing an atomic-level appreciation of how the phytochrome family of photoreceptors regulates light-dependent growth and development in plants and microorganisms. See Li et al. (2022) Nature 604: 127-133 as an example of research direction and progress. The individual must be able to work independently and will be expected to design and implement experiments using an assortment of structure-based techniques (possibly including x-ray crystallography, cryo-electron microscopy, and biophysical, including UV-vis and fluorescence spectroscopy, FPLC and size-exclusion chromatography). Ample opportunities exist for co-authorship in scientific publications and the ability to present work at scientific meetings. The position will also involve oversight and assistance in the design/execution of experiments performed by undergraduates and rotating graduate students.


Information on being a postdoc at Washington University in St. Louis can be found at https://postdoc.wustl.edu/prospective-postdocs-2/ .


Primary Duties and Responsibilities


Research Duties:

  • Design, set up, and perform experiments related to understanding how autophagy regulates eukaryotic development; provide protection against nutritional stress, and direct intracellular recycling at the molecular level. Propose new directions and possible next steps. Coordinate efforts among concurrent experiments. Collect data and perform analysis. Ensure the continuity of our germplasm, lab strains, and experimental colonies.
  • Prepare scientific data and manuscripts for publication.
  • Help prepare grant proposals to support the research.
  • Attend and present research progress at national and/or international meetings on the topics.


Lab Management:

  • Promote discussion among laboratory members, implement changes to protocols. This will require adaptation and development of new protocols as the research progresses.
  • Train and manage undergraduates and graduate students in conducting the research.
  • Quality control: Help oversee all autophagy-related projects and enforce the highest standards of quality and research conduct.


Data Management:

  • Produce and maintain lab notebooks and ensure periodic back up of all data.
  • Maintain and organize the collection of germplasm and stock cultures affecting various autophagy components, reporters and substrates.
  • Maintain and organize the extensive proteomic datasets generated from the mass spectrometric studies.


Required Qualifications


Ph.D., M.D. or equivalent terminal or doctoral degree.


Preferred Qualifications

  • Ph.D. in biochemistry, genetics, molecular biology, or a related field.
  • Experience in recombinant protein expression and purification.
  • Excellent organizational and data management skills.
  • Attention to detail.
  • Proficiency with computers.
  • Experience with various molecular and genetic techniques in yeast and/or plants, and a broad background with maize is helpful for the NSF-funded position.
  • Three years of experience in recombinant protein expression and X-ray crystallography or related biophysical techniques.  
  • Sequencing methods.
  • Experience with recombinant DNA methods, expressing proteins in various expression systems, purification of recombinant proteins, and experience with various biophysical techniques. If needed, successful candidate will be trained in x-ray crystallography and/or other structure-based methods.
  • Ability to work well within a group and to handle multiple concurrent assignments.
  • Ability to supervise undergraduate students and advise graduate students effectively when needed.  


Working Conditions


This position works in a laboratory environment with potential exposure to biological and chemical hazards. The individual must be physically able to wear protective equipment.


Salary Range


Base pay is commensurate with experience.


Applicant Special Instructions


Please email your resume, copies of relevant publications, a cover letter detailing research experience, and a list of three scientists (preferably faculty) that can provide letters of recommendation to Dr. Richard D. Vierstra George at rdvierstra@wustl.edu .


If you are unable to use our online application system and would like an accommodation, please email CandidateQuestions@wustl.edu  or call the dedicated accommodation inquiry number at 314-935-1149 and leave a voicemail with the nature of your request.

Pre-Employment Screening
All external candidates receiving an offer for employment will be required to submit to pre-employment screening for this position. The screenings will include criminal background check and, as applicable for the position, other background checks, drug screen, an employment and education or licensure/certification verification, physical examination, certain vaccinations and/or governmental registry checks. All offers are contingent upon successful completion of required screening.

Benefits Statement
Washington University in St. Louis is committed to providing a comprehensive and competitive benefits package to our employees. Benefits eligibility is subject to employment status, full-time equivalent (FTE) workload, and weekly standard hours. Please visit our website at https://hr.wustl.edu/benefits/ to view a summary of benefits.

EEO/AA Statement
Washington University in St. Louis is committed to the principles and practices of equal employment opportunity and especially encourages applications by those from underrepresented groups. It is the University’s policy to provide equal opportunity and access to persons in all job titles without regard to race, ethnicity, color, national origin, age, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, protected veteran status, or genetic information.

Diversity Statement
Washington University is dedicated to building a diverse community of individuals who are committed to contributing to an inclusive environment – fostering respect for all and welcoming individuals from diverse backgrounds, experiences and perspectives. Individuals with a commitment to these values are encouraged to apply.

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