The Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact is a billion-dollar initiative designed to fast-track scientific discoveries and the process of turning those discoveries into innovations that improve the quality of life for people in Oregon, the nation and beyond. The Knight Campus will reshape the higher education landscape in Oregon by training the next generations of scientists, forging tighter ties with industry and entrepreneurs and creating new educational opportunities for graduate and undergraduate students.
Calin Plesa’s research group is seeking up to two postdoctoral scholars to join the lab. The lab focuses on accelerating the pace at which we understand and engineer biological systems, particularly proteins. We are interested in uncovering the rules for the engineering of novel protein function, particularly in the areas of sensing and interfacing with engineering. Towards this end, we develop new technologies for gene synthesis, multiplex functional assays, in-vivo mutagenesis, and genotype-phenotype linkages. These allow us to both access the huge sequence diversity present in natural systems as well as carry out testing of rationally designed hypotheses encoded onto DNA at much larger scales than previously possible. Using these approaches, we aim to quickly characterize and engineer entire protein families, rather than focusing on individual proteins. Our work is highly-interdisciplinary and touches on aspects from many fields including bioengineering, protein engineering, biochemistry, synthetic biology, molecular biology, microbiology, structural biology, genetics, bioinformatics, and quantitative biology. These positions will focus on the development of novel methods for large-scale protein engineering and characterization. Potential projects may include:
· protein engineering of receptor histidine kinases for biosensing applications
· development of novel gene synthesis methods for building large gene libraries
· development of new multiplex functional assays
· repurposing phage proteins for bioengineering applications
· building predictive models of sequence-function relationships
· large scale characterization of antibiotic target proteins
The specific project will be tailored to the interests and skills of selected candidates. Essential responsibilities will include designing and conducting experiments, interpreting data, writing manuscripts, writing research proposals, assembling and delivering research presentations locally and nationally, assisting and training other researchers in the laboratory and maintaining laboratory equipment. This position will work closely with other lab researchers (students, postdocs, and technicians) and with Dr. Plesa. The position will be given a level of independence depending on the level of experience, with the goal of becoming a fully independent researcher by the end of their term as guided by a formal mentoring plan.
Special Instructions to Applicants
Please submit a cover letter, CV and contact information for three professional references. Please apply at this link: http://careers.uoregon.edu/cw/en-us/job/523530/postdoctoral-scholar-open-pool
Applicants must have a PhD in bioengineering, biochemistry, biology, biophysics, physics, chemistry, chemical engineering or related disciplines. The ideal candidate would have strong quantitative skills and a strong interest in developing new technologies to advance protein science.
Candidates should have strong skills in the following areas: molecular biology techniques (cloning, PCR, DNA extraction, gel electrophoresis); cell culture (E. coli, yeast); excellent organizational, written and verbal communication skills.
Experience in some of the following areas:
· multiplexed assays probing sequence-function relationships (deep mutational scanning, MPRAs,…)
· sequence based analysis of proteins (phylogenetic tree generation, multiple sequence alignment, BLAST, pfam, evolutionary couplings analysis, etc…)
· bioinformatic analysis of next-gen sequencing data (python, R, tidyverse, awk, BBTools, etc…)
· data visualization (ggplot, plotnine,…)
· structure based protein analysis (ROSETTA, UCSF Chimera, pymol,…)
· genome engineering
· protein biochemistry
· protein engineering
· protein biophysics
· protein expression
· machine learning
· directed evolution
· structural biology techniques