Oak Ridge National Laboratory is the largest US Department of Energy science and energy laboratory, conducting basic and applied research to deliver transformative solutions to compelling problems in energy and security.

The Plant Systems Biology Group within the Biodesign and Systems Biology Section of the Biosciences Division, Biological and Environmental Systems Science (BESSD) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory seeks two postdoctoral researchers with expertise in plant genetics, molecular biology, biochemistry, or physiology. Depending on research experience and interest, the selected postdoctoral researchers will have opportunities working on the following projects:

1)The Center for Bioenergy Innovation project; to functionally characterize genes and pathways regulating biomass characteristics and productivity.

2)The Plant-Microbe Interfaces Scientific Focus Area project ; to functionally characterize genes and pathways regulating plant-microbial interactions.

Recent publications from the Plant Systems Biology group include Qiao et al. (2021) Plant Biotech J 19: 2454; Xie et al. (2020) New Phytologist 228: 1627; Labbé et al. (2019) Nature Plants 5: 676; Xie et al. (2018) Plant Cell 30: 1645; Zhang et al. (2018) New Phytologist 220: 502; Muchero et al. (2018) Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 115: 11573; Yang et al. (2017) Nature Communications 8: 1899; Abraham et al. (2016) Nature Plants 2: 16178.a

Major Duties/Responsibilities: 

The Plant Systems Biology Group seeks to explore and understand the network of genes, proteins, metabolites, and environmental signals that lead to improved plant characteristics and performance. The selected candidate will join a multi-disciplinary team of investigators undertaking broad, integrated approaches to enhance fundamental understanding of genetic controls of plant-microbe interactions, plant productivity, biomass quality and sustainability in bioenergy-relevant plants. Major duties/responsibilities include:

  • Generate and characterize Arabidopis and Populus transgenic plans
  • Express and purify recombinant proteins
  • Perform protein-protein interaction assays
  • Perform protein-DNA binding assays
  • Perform protein phosphorylation assays
  • Perform plant inoculation assays with bacteria and fungi
  • Perform Arabidopsis and Populus protoplast transient expression assays
  • Present research progress in project meetings and national/international conferences
  • Publish scientific results in peer-reviewed journals

Basic Qualifications:

  • Ph.D. in plant biology, molecular biology, genetics, biochemistry, or related disciplines completed in the last 5 years.
  • Prior knowledge and demonstrated expertise in molecular, genetic and biochemical characterizations of genes and pathways are required.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience in working with Arabidopsis and/or Populus plants
  • Experience in plant transformation
  • Expertise in protein-protein interactions
  • Expertise in protein-DNA interactions (i.e., transcriptional regulation)
  • Effective writing and oral communication skills, demonstrated by a strong publication record
  • Desire to work both independently and collaboratively as part of a multidisciplinary team
  • Ability to function well in a fast-paced interdisciplinary research environment, set priorities to accomplish multiple tasks within deadlines, and adapt to ever changing needs

Please submit three letters of reference when applying to this position. You can upload these directly to your application or have them sent to postdocrecruitment@ornl.gov with the position title and number referenced in the subject line.

Instructions to upload documents to your candidate profile:

  • Login to your account via jobs.ornl.gov
  • View Profile
  • Under the My Documents section, select Add a Document

Applicants cannot have received their Ph.D. more than five years prior to the date of application and must complete all degree requirements before starting their appointment. The appointment length will be for up to 24 months with the potential for extension. Initial appointments and extensions are subject to performance and the availability of funding.

Moving can be overwhelming and expensive. UT-Battelle offers a generous relocation package to ease the transition process. Domestic and international relocation assistance is available for certain positions. If invited to interview, be sure to ask your Recruiter (Talent Acquisition Partner) for details. For more information about our benefits, working here, and living here, visit the “About” tab at jobs.ornl.gov.

This position will remain open for a minimum of 5 days after which it will close when a qualified candidate is identified and/or hired. We accept Word (.doc, .docx), Adobe (unsecured .pdf), Rich Text Format (.rtf), and HTML (.htm, .html) up to 5MB in size. Resumes from third party vendors will not be accepted; these resumes will be deleted and the candidates submitted will not be considered for employment.

If you have trouble applying for a position, please email ORNLRecruiting@ornl.gov. ORNL is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants, including individuals with disabilities and protected veterans, are encouraged to apply.  UT-Battelle is an E-Verify employer.


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