Jobs — Employment Opportunities at CABBI

From postdoctoral and graduate student researchers, to lab technicians, to other support staff, the Center for Advanced Bioenergy and Bioproducts Innovation is looking for motivated team players.

Check out this page frequently for the latest position openings! Queries about job openings may be sent to CABBI Program Manager Elizabeth Murphy, eamurphy@illinois.edu.

Current Openings

Biofoundry Manager (Illinois)

A Biofoundry Manager position is available at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in Dr. Huimin Zhao’s laboratory.

We are seeking a qualified and motivated researcher to join a growing team charged with operating, maintaining and developing the Illinois Biological Foundry for Advanced Biomanufacturing (iBioFAB). This position will provide extensive automated application development to support CABBI research efforts such as rapid design, fabrication, validation/quality control, and analysis of genetic constructs and organisms.

MAJOR DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Operate the iBioFAB and its auxiliary equipment.
  • Identify and implement necessary maintenance, repairs, and upgrades for equipment.
  • Coordinate with CABBI researchers and collaborators to identify their automation needs.
  • Develop automated process modules and workflows that efficiently meet those needs.
  • Determine and provide an appropriate level of training for users of the facility.
  • Coordinate with internal and external software developers to define, develop, and implement the data and logistics management needs of the facility.
  • Become familiar with laboratory and automation vendors, their products, relevant trade and academic literature, and academic and commercial counterparts.
  • Participate in outreach activities such as facility tours, demonstrations, and updating website content.
  • Represent the facility at conferences and presentations.
  • May supervise student employees, including task assignment and oversight.
  • Generate and maintain documentation of automation protocols, project specifications, project design materials, and other documentation needs. 

QUALIFICATIONS

Education

  • Required: B.S. degree in Engineering (electrical, mechanical, industrial, biological, general, and chemical engineering), Biology (biochemistry and microbiology), or Chemistry (analytical).
  • Preferred: M.S. or Ph.D. degree in Engineering (electrical, mechanical, industrial, biological, general, and chemical engineering), Biology (biochemistry and microbiology), or Chemistry (analytical).

Experience

  • Required: A minimum of one year of work experience in biology, chemistry, or related labs.
  • Preferred: Experience with laboratory or other automation equipment, especially liquid handling. Some previous supervisory experience.
     

Knowledge 

  • Required: Proficient in at least one of the following programming languages: C++, C#, java, VB, MATLAB, or Python. Excellent communication skills and the ability to work well in a team setting.
  • Preferred: Familiarity with web architecture and development tools.

Salary: Commensurate with experience and qualifications

Appointment Status: Full-time academic professional, grant-supported appointment renewable annually pending continued funding and satisfactory progress within the position. Qualified individuals will be eligible to receive vacation, sick, and personal leave; retirement through the State Universities Retirement System; and group health, dental, vision, and life insurance.

Start Date: As soon as possible after the close date

Applications must be received by Oct. 15, 2018. To apply, all candidates must submit an online profile through jobs.illinois.edu by the close of the posting period. Qualified candidates must upload a letter that details qualifications noted above, a resume, and the names and contact information of three professional references. All requested information must be submitted for your application to be considered. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed. The University of Illinois conducts criminal background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer.

For further information, please contact Erica Hanson, Human Resources, elhanson@illinois.edu.

Illinois is an Affirmative Action /Equal Opportunity Employer and welcomes individuals with diverse backgrounds, experiences, and ideas who embrace and value diversity and inclusivity. Read more at www.inclusiveillinois.illinois.edu.

Postdoc (Illinois): Ecosystem Biogeochemistry

The CABBI Sustainability Theme is seeking a creative postdoctoral scientist with a strong background in ecosystem biogeochemistry to join an interdisciplinary team of researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The successful candidate will become a member of the Carl Bernacchi Lab, which collaborates with multiple research groups on addressing key opportunities and challenges associated with land use change to meet growing demand for bioenergy production in the Midwest and Southeast United States.

The successful candidate will lead efforts in measuring gas and energy exchange between the land surface and atmosphere using the eddy covariance technique. The experiments will incorporate traditional CO2, water vapor, and energy exchanges and will couple these measurements with quantum cascade lasers to measure CO2 isotopes and N2O fluxes. The candidate will work closely with many faculty, postdoctoral researchers, graduate students, and technicians who are focusing on key aspects of ecosystem biogeochemistry, which provides a highly collaborative and engaging work environment.

The scientific goals of this position are to resolve the gross fluxes associated with mass and energy exchange and to understand the mechanistic basis for how different plant functional types interact with their growth environment. Through this primary goal, the candidate will have the opportunity to work with a highly productive research community and interact with researchers ranging in all scales from microbial to the landscape.

Qualifications: The successful candidate will have a Ph.D. in Plant Biology, Ecology, Biogeochemistry, Agronomy, or a related field. As this is a postdoctoral researcher position, training will be provided as needed, but experience in techniques including micrometeorology, eddy covariance, isotopic analysis, and/or gas flux analysis are preferred. The successful candidate will have great oral and written communication skills, with a proven publication record. Furthermore, this position requires the candidate to be willing and able to participate in field research activities — including assisting with setup and maintenance of field sensors and field campaigns for ancillary data collection.

This position includes a competitive salary and full benefits. Applications will be reviewed starting Oct. 1, 2018, and the position will remain open until filled. The position has an anticipated start date on or shortly after Dec. 1, 2018.

For more information, CABBI Research Coordinator Anya Knecht, knecht2@illinois.edu. All materials should be submitted to her with the subject line Postdoc: Bernacchi. Applications should include a brief cover letter, curriculum vitae, and the names and contact information for three references.

Any offer for this position is contingent upon your successful completion of a criminal background check.

Illinois is an Affirmative Action /Equal Opportunity Employer and welcomes individuals with diverse backgrounds, experiences, and ideas who embrace and value diversity and inclusivity. Read more at www.inclusiveillinois.illinois.edu.

Postdoc (Berkeley Lab): Synthetic Biology

A postdoctoral research associate position is available in the Yoshikuni Group at Environmental Genomics and Systems Biology (EGSB) Division of the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (LBNL). ESGB is part of the Biosciences Area of LBNL (supported by the U.S. Department of Energy and managed by the University of California), which forges multidisciplinary teams to solve national challenges in energy, environment, and health issues, as well as advance the engineering of biological systems for sustainable manufacturing. As part of CABBI, the Yoshikuni Group seeks to develop non-model multi-stress tolerant yeast strains for production of biofuels and renewable chemicals.

The postdoc will work in the CABBI Conversion Theme. Collaboration with researchers in the CABBI Feedstocks and Sustainability themes and the other BRCs is encouraged.

DUTIES & RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Develop a non-model yeast for production of biofuel and biochemical, leveraging metabolic engineering and synthetic biology
  • Mine and biochemically characterize enzymes required for target metabolite production
  • Design, build and test pathways for fuel and chemical production
  • Analyze genomic, transcriptomic, proteomic, and metabolomic datasets to identify/predict rate-limiting steps, competing pathways, and regulatory mechanisms to improve the flux through target pathways
  • Measure target metabolites using LC or GC
  • Prepare DNA and RNA samples for sequencing analyses
  • Summarize experimental results and present them at group meetings
  • Keep precise and detailed laboratory notebooks
  • Manage relationships with our collaborators

REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS

  • Ph.D. degree in the relevant fields in Biochemistry, Microbial Metabolic Engineering, and Synthetic Biology
  • Strong motivation to contribute to develop the areas of research under the DOE mission
  • Detailed knowledge in microbial biochemistry, genetics, metabolism, and physiology
  • Preferred experience in metabolite extraction, isolation and structure elucidation (HPLC, LC-MS, GC, and GC-MS)
  • Preferred experience in molecular biology techniques (molecular cloning, DNA/RNA extraction, PCR, gel electrophoresis)
  • Ability to successfully work in a dynamic team environment
  • Strong written and oral communications skills

The posting shall remain open until the position is filled. Follow this link to apply: https://lbl.referrals.selectminds.com/jobs/synthetic-biology-postdoctoral-scholar-908

This is a full-time, one-year, postdoctoral appointment with the possibility of renewal based upon satisfactory job performance, continuing availability of funds, and ongoing operational needs. Candidates must have less than four years of paid postdoctoral experience. Salary will be predetermined based on postdoctoral step rates. Postdoc will work Monday through Friday and is exempt (monthly paid) from overtime pay. This position is represented by a union for collective bargaining purposes.

This position may be subject to a background check. Any convictions will be evaluated to determine if they directly relate to the responsibilities and requirements of the position. Having a conviction history will not automatically disqualify an applicant from being considered for employment.

Work will be primarily performed at DOE’s Joint Genome Institute (JGI) — 2800 Mitchell Drive, Walnut Creek, Calif.

LBNL addresses the world’s most urgent scientific challenges by advancing sustainable energy, protecting human health, creating new materials, and revealing the origin and fate of the universe. Founded in 1931, Berkeley Lab’s scientific expertise has been recognized with 13 Nobel prizes.

LBNL is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age, or protected veteran status. The Lab is in compliance with the Pay Transparency Nondiscrimination Provision under 41 CFR 60-1.4. Click here to view the poster and supplement: “Equal Employment Opportunity is the Law.”

Postdoc (Iowa State): Environmental Sustainability, GHG Fluxes, Water Quality

A postdoctoral research associate position is available in the Department of Agronomy at Iowa State University.

The postdoc will work with Agronomy Associate Professor Emily Heaton and Agronomy Assistant Professor Andy VanLoocke as part of a broader team of soil scientists, ecologists, physiologists, ecosystem modelers, and engineers in the CABBI Sustainability Theme. Collaboration with researchers in the CABBI Feedstocks and Conversion themes and the other BRCs is encouraged.

DUTIES & RESPONSIBILITIES: The successful candidate is to study environmental sustainability issues, particularly ecosystem greenhouse gas fluxes, and water quality impacts from biomass crops. He/she will be responsible for monitoring ecosystem fluxes in the field using four eddy covariance systems. The successful candidate will contribute to an environmental and economic modeling team to conduct decision analysis under uncertainty and spatially distributed natural and human factors.

REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS

  • Ph.D. in Agricultural Meteorology, Plant Biology, Ecology, Environmental Science, Agronomy, or a relevant field of ecosystem analysis
  • Demonstrated skills in leading field-based, eddy covariance research, including data quality control, analysis, and associated equipment maintenance

PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS

  • Experience in plant/soil relations modeling, ecosystem modeling, plant physiology/leaf gas exchange, and/or biogeochemical modeling

Applicants who meet all the required qualifications should send the following materials in a single pdf file by email to Anya Knecht (knecht2@illinois.edu) with “postdoc application” in the subject line: (1) curriculum vita; (2) a letter describing research interests and experience; (3) a recent research paper; and (4) names and contact information for three references.

Inquiries about the position should be sent to Heaton (heaton@iastate.edu).

For full consideration, please apply by Sept. 1, 2018. Funding is available to start in January 2019 for appointment on an annual basis with the potential for annual renewal for two or more years based on funding, progress, and satisfactory performance.  This position includes a competitive salary and full benefits.

Iowa State University is an Affirmative Action /Equal Opportunity Employer and welcomes individuals with diverse backgrounds, experiences, and ideas who embrace and value diversity and inclusivity. Iowa State provides a competitive and comprehensive benefits package and services for postdocs that includes health, prescription drug, dental, vision, vacation, sick leave, optional investment savings, and optional life insurance. Read more at https://www.grad-college.iastate.edu/postdoc/.

Postdoc (Iowa State): Environmental Sustainability, Nutrient Cycling, and Water

A postdoctoral research associate position is available in the Department of Agronomy at Iowa State University.

The postdoc will work with Agronomy Associate Professor Emily Heaton and Agronomy Assistant Professor Andy VanLoocke as part of a broader team of soil scientists, ecologists, physiologists, ecosystem modelers, and engineers in the CABBI Sustainability Theme. Collaboration with researchers in the CABBI Feedstocks and Conversion themes and the other BRCs is encouraged.

DUTIES & RESPONSIBILITIES: The successful candidate will study environmental sustainability issues, particularly nutrient cycling, water quantity and water quality impacts of biomass crops. He/she will be responsible for measuring water quantity, water quality, and nutrients in the field using a controlled drainage monitoring system. The successful candidate will contribute to an environmental and economic modeling team to conduct decision analysis under uncertainty and spatially distributed natural and human factors.

REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS

  • Ph.D. in Soil Science, Plant Science, Agricultural Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Ecology, Agronomy, or a relevant field of water resources or nutrient system analysis
  • Demonstrated skills in leading field-based, water quality/quantity research, including water and nutrient budgeting and associated equipment maintenance

PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS

  • Experience in plant/soil relations modeling, ecosystem modeling, and/or biogeochemical modeling

Applicants who meet all the required qualifications should send the following materials in a single pdf file by email to Anya Knecht (knecht2@illinois.edu) with “postdoc application” in the subject line: (1) curriculum vita; (2) a letter describing research interests and experience; (3) a recent research paper; and (4) names and contact information for three references.

Inquiries about the position should be sent to Heaton (heaton@iastate.edu).

For full consideration, please apply by Sept. 1, 2018. Funding is available to start in January 2019 for appointment on an annual basis with the potential for annual renewal for two or more years based on funding, progress, and satisfactory performance.  This position includes a competitive salary and full benefits.

Iowa State University is an Affirmative Action /Equal Opportunity Employer and welcomes individuals with diverse backgrounds, experiences, and ideas who embrace and value diversity and inclusivity. Iowa State provides a competitive and comprehensive benefits package and services for postdocs that includes health, prescription drug, dental, vision, vacation, sick leave, optional investment savings, and optional life insurance. Read more at https://www.grad-college.iastate.edu/postdoc/.

Postdoc (Illinois): Sorghum Genetics and Crop Engineering

A postdoctoral position is available in the Department of Crop Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in Dr. Anthony Studer’s laboratory.

We are seeking a qualified and motivated postdoctoral scientist to contribute to a large interdisciplinary project focused on designing feedstocks for biofuels and bioproducts using the “plants as factories” concept. The successful applicant will use both genome engineering and traditional breeding strategies to develop a germplasm system for best-yielding bioenergy sorghum. This will include testing male sterile systems and heterosis in diverse sorghum lines. The postdoc will also be involved in manipulating carbon partitioning in sorghum. Postdocs will work closely with Dr. Studer and other members of the CABBI team to receive cross-disciplinary training and career development opportunities. The duties of the project postdoc will focus on designing genome editing constructs, molecular and field evaluation of transgenic materials, and developing and testing germplasm using conventional breeding approaches.

Expertise in some or all of the following areas is desired: plant genetics; bioinformatics; field evaluation trials; and molecular biology.

Strong candidates will also possess the following attributes:

  • Evidence of scientific impact of their Ph.D. (such as papers published, in press, or submitted).
  • Creativity and the desire to learn new things.
  • The ability to work independently, and also as part of a team.
  • Excellent communication skills, both written and oral.

All candidates must have received a Ph.D. in a relevant field within the past five years. The position is available for four years; however, annual renewal is dependent on funding and progress made by the individual. This position includes a competitive salary and full benefits.

Application review will begin June 1, 2018, but will continue until a suitable candidate is identified.

All materials should be submitted to the CABBI Research Coordinator Elizabeth Murphy, eamurphy@illinois.edu, with the subject line Postdoc: Studer. Applications should include a brief cover letter, curriculum vitae, and the names and contact information for three references.

Any offer for this position is contingent upon your successful completion of a criminal background check. Contact Elizabeth Murphy, eamurphy@illinois.edu, regarding the position or application process.

Illinois is an Affirmative Action /Equal Opportunity Employer and welcomes individuals with diverse backgrounds, experiences, and ideas who embrace and value diversity and inclusivity. Read more at www.inclusiveillinois.illinois.edu.

Postdoc (Illinois): Plant-Soil-Microbe Interactions in Nitrogen Cycling

A Microbial Ecology postdoctoral position is available in the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology (IGB) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as part of the CABBI Sustainability Theme, which will develop the predictive capability to determine which feedstock combinations, regions and land types, market conditions, and biofuels and bioproducts have the potential to support the ecologically and economically sustainable displacement of fossil fuels.

The successful candidate will support research on plant-soil-microbe interactions in bioenergy cropping systems (sorghum, energycane, and Miscanthus) with a focus on nitrogen biogeochemistry and microbial functional groups responsible for mineralization, nitrification, denitrification, nitrogen fixation, etc.

The postdoc will work with Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences Professor Angela Kent and will collaborate with plant breeders, ecosystem ecologists, ecosystem modelers, ecophysiologists, ecohydrologists, and others in the CABBI Sustainability Theme. Collaboration with researchers in the CABBI Feedstocks and Conversion themes and the other BRCs is encouraged. The postdoc will be housed in IGB with the other Illinois-based CABBI researchers to facilitate these collaborative interactions and help build a strong community of postdocs and graduate students.

DUTIES & RESPONSIBILITIES: Designing and conducting field and laboratory experiments to evaluate ecological drivers of nitrogen-cycling microbes, high-throughput DNA sequencing and qPCR, bioinformatics and data analysis. The postdoctoral researcher will coordinate research activities with a large team of collaborators, supervise technicians and undergraduates, engage in data management, and write manuscripts.

REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS

  • A Ph.D. or the equivalent in microbial ecology, biogeochemistry, soil science, or related field
  • Experience with laboratory and field work
  • Strong English writing and oral communication skills
  • Strong organizational skills
  • Ability to work in a collaborative environment
  • Ability to travel to research sites in Florida, Iowa, and other locations in the eastern U.S. for short sampling campaigns
  • A valid driver’s license

PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS

  • A strong publication record from their Ph.D. (papers published, in press, or submitted)
  • Experience with next-generation DNA sequencing and bioinformatics workflows
  • Strong multivariate data analysis skills

Application review will begin March 31, 2018, and will continue until the position is filled. The start date is flexible, but ideally on May 1, 2018. Applications should include a brief cover letter, curriculum vitae, and the names and contact information for three references. Please put “CABBI microbial ecology postdoc application” in the subject line of your email to Anya Knecht, CABBI Research Coordinator, at knecht2@illinois.edu.

For further information about the position, please contact Dr. Kent at akent@illinois.edu.

The position is available for four years; however, annual renewal is dependent on funding and progress made by the individual.

Illinois is an Affirmative Action /Equal Opportunity Employer and welcomes individuals with diverse backgrounds, experiences, and ideas who embrace and value diversity and inclusivity. Read more at www.inclusiveillinois.illinois.edu.

The University of Illinois conducts criminal background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer.

Postdoc (Florida): Plant Genome Editing and Metabolic Engineering

The Plant Molecular Physiology lab at University of Florida, headed by Professor Fredy Altpeter, is seeking a highly motivated postdoctoral research associate with experience in plant genetic engineering, molecular biology and project management to join our team. The research program focuses on designing feedstocks for biofuels and bioproducts using the CABBI “plants as factories” concept.

The successful candidate will apply existing CRISPR‐Cas9 systems to validate targets for crop improvement, develop multiplex genome editing strategies and transgenic approaches for metabolic engineering, and characterize genetically modified events under controlled environment and field conditions similar in scope to our recent publications: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27306903http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/pbi.12411/epdf; http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/pbi.12833/full.

Extensive background in molecular genetics is essential, including analysis of RNAseq data, design and construction of complex vectors, plant tissue culture, biolistic gene transfer, molecular and phenotypic characterization of transgenic plants. Knowledge in plant metabolism, physiology and genomic regulation is desirable. This work requires excellent interpersonal and communication skills in English as well as excellent writing skills as demonstrated by a strong publication record in peer-reviewed journals. Recent graduates are encouraged to apply.

Please email your resume, cover letter, and contact information of  three references to the PI, altpeter@ufl.edu. The University of Florida is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, age, sexual orientation, genetic information, status as an individual with a disability, or status as a protected veteran. Salary will be competitive and includes benefits.

Application review will continue until a suitable candidate is identified. Start date is flexible.

Selected publications related to this position:

Ph.D. Student (Florida): Plant Genome Editing

The Plant Molecular Physiology lab at University of Florida, headed by Professor Fredy Altpeter, is seeking a highly motivated Ph.D. student with experience in plant tissue culture and genetic engineering and molecular biology to join our team. The research program focuses on genome editing and metabolic engineering of sugarcane to improve crop performance and quality.

The successful candidate will apply existing CRISPR‐Cas9 systems to validate targets for crop improvement, develop genome editing strategies that do not leave a transgenic footprint in vegetatively propagated sugarcane, and characterize genetically modified events similar in scope to our recent publications: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27306903http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/pbi.12411/epdf; http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/pbi.12833/full.

Hands-on experience with plant tissue culture and genetic transformation is essential. The ideal candidate will also be experience with vector construction, molecular and phenotypic characterization of transgenic plants. This work requires excellent interpersonal and communication skills in English as well as excellent writing skills as demonstrated by a strong publication record in peer reviewed journals.

Please email your resume, cover letter, GRE scores, GPA, and contact information of  three references to the PI, altpeter@ufl.edu. The University of Florida is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, age, sexual orientation, genetic information, status as an individual with a disability, or status as a protected veteran. Stipend will be competitive and includes benefits.

Application review will continue until a suitable candidate is identified. Start date is flexible.

Selected publications related to this position: