Research Scientist

Updated: 7 months ago
Location: Berkeley, CALIFORNIA
Deadline: The position may have been removed or expired!

Berkeley Lab’s Biological Systems & Engineering Division has an opening for a Research Scientist. This position will focus on engineering polyketide synthases for the production of chemicals and materials.  The successful applicant will build, refine, and oversee high throughput pipeline for the design, construction, and analysis of polyketide synthase expression constructs. This pipeline will be used to support a broad portfolio of projects being conducted in a variety of organisms. The successful applicant will work with a number of PIs and be expected to help troubleshoot projects from a number of perspectives. They will also be expected to train and supervise students, postdocs, and scientists associate with LBNL PKS projects. 


What You Will Do:

  • Engineering polyketide synthases, fatty acid synthases, and a variety of organisms that can express them for chemical production

  • Design and perform experiments to design, assemble, and assay polyketide synthases in a high throughput format

  • Design data capture and structure in a format amenable to meaningful machine learning.

  • Interact with computer and data scientists to ensure an understanding of biology and its impact on the assumptions of their models

  • Collect and analyze data and prepare results for publication in scientific journals and presentations at seminars

  • Assist PIs with training and oversight of the workflow of other technical staff, GSRAs and Student Assistants

  • Assist with the development of funding proposals

  • Present at conferences and workshops

  • Participate in group meetings and seminars

  • Maintain an accurate and detailed electronic scientific logbook of all experiments performed.

  • Ensure reproducibility of results


What is Required: 

  • Ph.D. in Microbiology, Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, Synthetic Biology, or related field and/or an equivalent combination of education and experience/training in Synthetic Biology/Metabolic Engineering field

  • Experience with high throughput DNA construction

  • Experience with engineering polyketide synthases

  • Experience with Streptomyces growth and engineering

  • Experience with designing expression constructs for a broad array of organisms

  • Knowledge of essential genetic control elements

  • Experience with compound extraction, isolation, and analysis

  • Experience with analytical chemistry equipment and data analysis: GC-MS, LC-MS, HPLC

  • Excellent organizational, analytical, and record-keeping skills with the ability to present technical reports to collaborators, JBEI staff, management, and sponsors

  • Effective problem-solving and decision-making skills with the ability to troubleshoot experimental processes and provide analysis 

  • Demonstrated ability to independently carry out creative research with a proven record of research publications and achievement

  • Demonstrated ability to conduct and perform collaborative research and effectively interact with a broad range of colleagues with tact and diplomacy 

  • Demonstrated ability to accurately and eloquently represent and promote scientific projects to audiences of diverse technical backgrounds

  • Demonstrated teaching, mentoring, and personnel management skills

  • Effective interpersonal skills with experience establishing effective collaborations and interacting with members of the scientific and instrumentation communities

  • Excellent written communication skills with demonstrated experience preparing research publications

  • Experience with Molecular Biology techniques such as: genome extraction, RNA extraction, PCR, Cloning, RT-PCR, qPCR, and Western Blot  

Additional Desired Qualifications:

  • Experience with next-generation sequencing technologies

The posting shall remain open until the position is filled


  • This is a full-time career appointment.

  • Full-time, M-F, exempt (monthly paid) from overtime pay.

  • Salary is commensurate with experience.

  • 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 Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) — Bldg. 978, 5885 Hollis St., 4th floor, Emeryville, CA.

Berkeley Lab ( 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. The University of California manages Berkeley Lab for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science.

Equal Employment Opportunity: Berkeley Lab 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. Berkeley 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."

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