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Post Doctoral Research Associate Biology

Job ID 1321 Date posted 06/13/2018


Brookhaven National Laboratory is a multipurpose research institution funded primarily by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science. Located on the center of Long Island, New York, Brookhaven Lab brings world-class facilities and expertise to the most exciting and important questions in basic and applied science—from the birth of our universe to the sustainable energy technology of tomorrow. We operate cutting-edge large-scale facilities for studies in physics, chemistry, biology, medicine, applied science, and a wide range of advanced technologies. The Laboratory's almost 3,000 scientists, engineers, and support staff are joined each year by more than 4,000 visiting researchers from around the world. Our award-winning history, including seven Nobel Prizes, stretches back to 1947, and we continue to unravel mysteries from the nanoscale to the cosmic scale, and everything in between. Brookhaven is operated and managed by Brookhaven Science Associates, which was founded by the Research Foundation for the State University of New York on behalf of Stony Brook University, and Battelle, a nonprofit applied science and technology organization.



Researchers in the Biology Department at Brookhaven National Laboratory seek to unravel and fully describe the complexities of biological systems—from how plants make oils and other products to the role of proteins in disease. Our work helps to develop and makes use of the tools and techniques of biochemistry, molecular genetics, and structural biology.  We also leverage the unique capabilities of Brookhaven’s National Synchrotron Light Source-II and Center for Functional Nanomaterials, major research facilities open to scientists from around the world. Our research makes important contributions to fulfilling the missions of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Basic Energy Sciences and Office of Biological and Environmental Research.   In addition, together with the Collider-Accelerator Department, the Biology Department manages the NASA Space Radiation Laboratory (NSRL) at Brookhaven, which is used by radiobiologists and physicists to study the effects of space radiation on both living and non-living systems with the aim of protecting future astronauts.



Plant cell wall is one of the world’s most abundant natural materials. It represents a promising source of simple sugars for industrial bio-based products and advanced biofuels. However, the presence of heterogeneous and recalcitrant lignin polymer in the wall substantially limits the cell wall biomass digestibility and processability. With our previous effort in understanding lignin biosynthesis and engineering novel enzymes to modulate its synthesis, we are searching for a suitable candidate to work as part of a CABBI team to leverage our lignin engineering effort to optimize the cell wall biomass property in grass species such as Sorghum and Energycane. 

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

• Molecular, biochemical and physiological evaluation of the existing transgenic grass plants.
• Using chemical and/or biophysical approaches to analyze cell wall components.
• Continually design new strategies, created new constructs to alter lignin content or composition and redirect metabolic flux to     the useful metabolites in grass species.
• Interacting with CABBI scientists to generate, screen, and analyze the transgenic grasses whenever it is needed. 
• Summarizing, recording and reporting experimental data to the PI and the CABBI research team.



Required Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

• Ph.D. in Plant Molecular Genetics and/or Biochemistry, or related field.
• Laboratory research experience in plant biology.
• A proven track record of experimental design, execution and data analysis.
• Proven ability to design, develop, implement, monitor, analyze and complete projects/work assignments as reflected in manuscript   writing and successful publication in peer-reviewed journals.
• Demonstrated experience in the standard techniques of molecular biology, genetics, biochemistry, and plant physiology.
• Demonstrated track record of poster presentations and/or oral presentations at scientific meetings.

Preferred Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

• Chemical analysis and/or structural determination of plant cell wall components including lignin, cellulose and hemicelluloses.
• Operating analytic instrument such as HPLC, LC-MS and/or GC-MS and performing data analyses.
• Knowledge on plant phenylpropanoid biosynthesis.
• Experience in gene transformation in grass species.

Other informaiton:

• Review of applications begins immediately. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.
• The initial appointment will be one year, with annual renewal contingent upon satisfactory performance and continued funding.
• Research under the direction of Dr. Chang-Jun Liu.
• BNL policy requires that research associate appointments be made to individuals who have received their doctorate within the past five years.

At Brookhaven National Laboratory we believe that a comprehensive employee benefits program is an important and meaningful part of the compensation employees receive. Our benefits program includes, but is not limited to:

  • Medical Plans

  • Dental Plans

  • Vacation

  • Holidays

  • Life Insurance

  • 401(k) Plan

  • Paid Parental Leave

  • Swimming Pool, Weight Room, Tennis Courts, and many other employee perks and benefits


We invite you to consider Brookhaven National Laboratory for employment. To be considered for this position, please apply online at BNL Careers and enter the job title into the Keyword Search.

Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) is an equal opportunity employer committed to ensuring that all qualified applicants receive consideration for employment and will not be discriminated against on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, status as a veteran, disability or any other federal, state or local protected class.

BNL takes affirmative action in support of its policy and to advance in employment individuals who are minorities, women, protected veterans, and individuals with disabilities.

*VEVRAA Federal Contractor

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