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Structure and Function of Plant Metal Transporters

Job ID 2170 Date posted 07/04/2020

Brookhaven National Laboratory ( delivers discovery science and transformative technology to power and secure the nation’s future. Brookhaven Lab is a multidisciplinary laboratory with seven Nobel Prize-winning discoveries, 37 R&D 100 Awards, and more than 70 years of pioneering research. The Lab is primarily supported by the U.S. Department;of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Science. Brookhaven Science Associates (BSA) operates and manages the Laboratory for DOE. BSA is a partnership between Battelle and The Research Foundation for the State University of New York on behalf of Stony Brook University.

Organizational Overview

The mission in the Biology Department at Brookhaven National Laboratory seeks 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.

Position Description

The Biology Department has an opening for a Postdoctoral Research Associate to complement the efforts of the Quantitative Plant Science Initiative (QPSI) in the Biology Department of Brookhaven National Laboratory. We invite talented candidates to apply for this position to work on plant membrane proteins in particular metal transporters. The ideal candidate will carry out structural and functional investigation of metal transporters involved in nutrient uptake, stress responses, photosynthesis, and metal homeostasis. Structural and mechanistic understanding that underlies the physiological role of these membrane proteins will expand our knowledge base with which to manipulate bioenergy crops for improved adaptation to growth on marginal land. The successful candidate will also be expected to assist with developing a high-throughput platform for membrane protein production and characterization at small scale. An initial two-year appointment may be renewed for up to five years contingent on performance and availability of funds.

This research will be supported by state-of-the-art Brookhaven Lab facilities such as NSLS-II and LBMS. NSLS-II is a world-leading synchrotron facility that produces high-flux, and low-emittance X-rays for solving a wide range of biological problems via diffraction, scattering, and imaging capabilities. With support from New York State and Department of Energy, Brookhaven Lab is establishing a high-resolution cryo-electron microscopy center (LBMS) that is expected to be operational in June 2020. LBMS provides additional capability of imaging metal transporters and their complexes at near-atomic resolution. The combination of X-rays and electrons will enable multi-modal and multi-scale investigations of plant metal transporters at an unprecedented level.

BNL offers competitive compensation commensurate with relevant experience and qualifications. Candidates should submit a CV, a brief description of research interests, and contact information for three references.

Position Requirements

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Membrane protein production and biophysical characterization.
  • Structural analyses of metal transporters.
  • Metal transport assays using X-ray fluorescence and fluorescence dyes.

Required Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Ph.D. in molecular biology, biochemistry, biophysics, or a related field.
  • Demonstrated experience in protein production for structural studies.
  • Proven research capability through peer-reviewed publications.
  • Demonstrated written and oral communication skills.

Preferred Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Experience in protein production in a eukaryotic system such as yeast, insect, or mammalian cells.
  • Transient gene expression in Nicotiana benthamiana leaves.
  • Experience in production and analysis of membrane proteins and their complexes.
  • Experience in biological crystallography and diffraction data analysis.
  • Experience in Cryo-EM sample preparation data collection and analysis.
  • Ability to communicate effectively and diplomatically.
  • Self-motivated.


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

Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) is an equal opportunity employer that values inclusion and diversity at our Lab.We are 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.We ensure that individuals with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodation to participate in the job application or interview process, to perform essential job functions, and to receive other benefits and privileges of employment.Please contact us to request accommodation.

*VEVRAA Federal Contractor

Brookhaven employees are subject to restrictions related to participation in Foreign Government Talent Recruitment Programs, as defined and detailed in United States Department of Energy Order 486.1. You will be asked to disclose any such participation at the time of hire for review by Brookhaven. The full text of the Order may be found at:

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