The Kleiner Lab at NC State University is seeking an enthusiastic, highly motivated postdoctoral scholar to apply cutting-edge cultivation-based and cultivation-independent methods to study functional interaction in the corn-root associated microbiome.

We are looking to hire a postdoc to study functional interactions in the corn-root associated microbiome Main topic: microbe-dependent heterosis in corn. Development of additional projects is possible.

One of the focus areas of this position will be:

  • Species and mechanisms underlying microbe-dependent heterosis (MDH) in corn

The postdoctoral scholar will be responsible for corn growth experiments with permutations of synthetic microbial communities (SynComs), quantification of microbial strains in vivo, and measurement of plant and microbial gene expression responses using LC-MS/MS-based metaproteomics. Metaproteomics data generation skills including operation of state-of-the-art high-resolution LC-MS/MS systems can be taught by the lab. Experience with the analysis of microbial gene expression data using python or R, as well as a thorough understanding of microbial metabolism and physiology would be a big plus.

The scholar will also have the opportunity to develop additional projects in the realm of plant-microbe interactions and participate in national and international funded collaborative projects. The scholar will also present results at conferences and lead the preparation of manuscripts. The scholar will also participate in the supervision of graduate and undergraduate students.

The scholar will be part of a national team of researchers involved in NSF PGRP and USDA-funded projects on maize-microbiome interactions.

This position is contingent on available funding; funding is currently anticipated for three (3) years with possible extension.

The Kleiner Lab studies the physiology and functional interactions in host-microbe systems. We develop cutting-edge mass spectrometry-based approaches to identify and quantify proteins and peptides in these systems. The Kleiner Lab has priority access to state-of-the-art LC-MS/MS instrumentation including a RSLCnano and a Thermo Eclipse tribrid mass spectrometer. The scholar can also expect the opportunity to gain experience in other approaches related to plant and microbiome research, as well as professional development opportunities including grant writing and leadership workshops organized by the NCSU Office of Postdoctoral Affairs.

The scholar will be embedded in a highly collaborative environment at NC State. Within the NSF project, there is another laboratory at NC State that will study the plant-genetics side of MDH and frequent interaction with that laboratory is anticipated. Both the USDA and NSF projects include collaborations with the laboratory of Dr. Maggie Wagner at the University of Kansas and frequent interactions are expected. Furthermore, the Kleiner Lab is part of two international projects on plant-microbe interactions sponsored by the Novo Nordisk Foundation providing international collaboration opportunities for the postdoc. The Kleiner Lab is also part of the cluster for Microbiomes and Complex Microbial Communities at NC State, which provides a vibrant community of researchers in the area of microbiomes research.

NC State, UNC Chapel Hill, and Duke are all located within a 30 minute drive of one another, and surround a large number of engineering, technology and biotech companies in Research Triangle Park. Together, the Research Triangle is one of the most dynamic places for academic and industrial research and development in the world. The main cities, Raleigh and Durham, are vibrant and cosmopolitan while still being affordable.

Present results at conferences and lead the preparation of manuscripts. Participate in the supervision of graduate and undergraduate students. Other duties as assigned.

  • Ph.D. in a Life Sciences field and experience in the area of plant-microbe interactions research using cultivation-dependent approaches, as well as cultivation-independent meta-omics approaches.
  • Experience with the cultivation of bacteria is required.
  • Strong written and oral communication skills, be self-motivated, and possess leadership skills

Prior experience in the areas of microbial ecology, microbial genomics, microbial physiology, metagenomics, metaproteomics, plant physiology, and/or host-microbe interactions research.

Valid Driver’s License or the ability to obtain one within 60 days of hire. Must be maintained.

The scholar will need to drive to field stations for plant sampling.

NC State University 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.

If you have general questions about the application process, you may contact Human Resources at (919) 515-2135 or Individuals with disabilities requiring disability-related accommodations in the application and interview process, please call 919-515-3148.

Final candidates are subject to criminal & sex offender background checks. Some vacancies also require credit or motor vehicle checks. Degree(s) must be obtained prior to start date in order to meet qualifications and receive credit.

NC State University participates in E-Verify. Federal law requires all employers to verify the identity and employment eligibility of all persons hired to work in the United States

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