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Postdoctoral Associate - Sgro Lab

Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)
Ashburn, Virginia
$70,000.00 - $91,000.00
Closing date
25 Aug 2024

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Job Type
Employment - Hours
Full time

About the Lab

The Sgro Lab is part of the Computation and Theory and 4D Cellular Physiology research areas at Janelia. We take a joint experiment-theory approach to understanding how cells process information about the environment and one another to cooperate as part of emergent behaviors such as development. The lab uses both microbial and metazoan model systems for collective behaviors and development with the long-term goal of identifying best practices that cells employ to effectively synchronize and coordinate behaviors in the natural world. Learn more about the lab here.

About the Role

We are seeking a postdoctoral associate excited to lead a project focused on understanding how wild cellular slime molds coordinate their behaviors in natural environments to ensure their survival under stress. This project will connect molecular and cellular level mechanisms to collective behaviors through combining our wealth of knowledge about the genes controlling different cellular properties to new collective behaviors we observe through quantitative microscopy.

What You’ll Do

  • Lead one or more independent research projects focused on linking single-cell computational properties to multicellular collective behaviors

  • Design complex experiments to observe cellular behaviors and computation in naturalistic environments

  • Explore and analyze microscopy data with data science and machine learning methods

  • Collaborate closely with theoreticians to develop conceptual and mathematical models

  • Collaborate and bring your expertise to larger projects across labs at Janelia

  • Have the freedom to pursue your own creative ideas and build the foundation of a research program you can take with you to an independent lab (if that’s where you’re headed)

What You Bring

  • A Ph.D. in biophysics, quantitative biology, biomedical engineering, or a related field with relevant expertise

  • Enthusiasm to learn new skills, apply your expertise creatively to new projects, and work collaboratively within and across labs

What We Provide

  • A competitive compensation package, with comprehensive health and welfare benefits

  • One-on-one mentorship relationship with the lab head

  • Opportunities for close mentoring relationships with other group leaders and senior scientists across Janelia Research Campus

  • Experience building and managing scientific collaborations

  • Generous training and travel opportunities to scientific workshops and conferences

  • A supportive training environment with a high success rate at placing postdocs in academic positions and top industry and government jobs (

  • Optional affordable on-site housing

Physical Requirements

Remaining in a normal seated or standing position for extended periods of time; reaching and grasping by extending hand(s) or arm(s); dexterity to manipulate objects with fingers, for example using a keyboard; communication skills using the spoken word; ability to see and hear within normal parameters; ability to move about workspace. The position requires mobility, including the ability to move materials weighing up to several pounds (such as a laptop computer or tablet).

Persons with disabilities may be able to perform the essential duties of this position with reasonable accommodation. Requests for reasonable accommodation will be evaluated on an individual basis.

Please Note:

This job description sets forth the job’s principal duties, responsibilities, and requirements; it should not be construed as an exhaustive statement, however.  Unless they begin with the word “may,” the Essential Duties and Responsibilities described above are “essential functions” of the job, as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act.



An Associate 00 is compensated at a rate of $74,200.00 annually at HHMI's Janelia Research Campus.


HHMI’s salary structure is developed based on relevant job market data. HHMI considers a candidate's education, previous experiences, knowledge, skills and abilities, as well as internal equity when making job offers.

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