Department: Knight Campus
Rank: Postdoctoral Scholar
Annual Basis: 12 Month
Review of Applications Begins
June 10, 2022; open until filled
Special Instructions to Applicants
Along with your online application, please upload a CV and cover letter.
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.
The Plesa lab aims to accelerate 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.
The postdoc will be responsible for conducting research and technical activities related to sponsored projects in the lab. Research work will include designing and optimizing a new antibody generation method using a large-scale in-vivo protein-protein interaction assay, gene synthesis, and in-vivo mutagenesis. 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.
For the purpose of acquiring additional professional skills needed to pursue a career path in the chosen field, this position will have a formal mentor plan.
• Ph.D in bioengineering, biochemistry, biology, biophysics, physics, chemistry, bioinformatics, chemical engineering or related disciplines
Candidates should have strong skills in the following areas:
• Molecular biology techniques (cloning, PCR, DNA extraction, gel electrophoresis);
• Bacterial cell culture (E. coli);
• Bioinformatic analysis of next-gen sequencing data (python, R, tidyverse, awk, BBTools, etc.)
• Effective organizational and communication skills.
• Demonstrated strong quantitative skills
• Strong interest in developing new technologies to advance protein science
Experience in some of the following areas:
• Preparation of NGS libraries
• Multiplexed assays probing sequence-function relationships (deep mutational scanning, MPRAs,...)
• Sequence analysis (phylogenetic tree generation, multiple sequence alignment, BLAST, etc.)
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