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Postdoctoral Associate - Sun Lab

Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Birmingham, AL
Closing date
Feb 14, 2024

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Pharmaceutical, Laboratory
Organization Type
Primary Work Address: 1720 2nd Avenue South, Birmingham, AL, 35294

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About the role:

We are seeking postdoctoral associates that are passionate about optimizing and developing novel genomics and biochemical tools in both C. elegans and mouse nervous system to profile their molecular composition in increased cellular resolution. This position is ideally suited for candidates with a strong background in genomics and biochemistry, and want to apply their skills in diverse animal models to answer interesting neurobiological questions. We welcome all interested applicants, and all applicants can email at

About Department/Lab:

The Sun Lab is part of the Department of Cell, Developmental and Integrative Biology, with secondary appointment in Neurobiology and Genetics at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. The Lab utilizes both C. elegans and rodent models, in combination with genomic, genetic, behavioral, and microscopy techniques to understand gene-environment regulation of neural development/plasticity through transcriptional and chromatin-based mechanisms, and how they are dysregulated in neural disorders. For more information on specific areas/projects, see

What we provide:

  • Relocation Assistance
  • A competitive compensation package in a stimulating academic environment, and low living cost of the Birmingham area
  • Opportunity to work in a small, diverse, and encouraging research environment.
  • A flexible schedule
  • Well-rounded training on techniques and soft skills
  • One on one mentorship, and support/training for the next stage of your career
What you'll do:
  • Handling independent research project(s) related to transcriptional/chromatin regulation of neural development and plasticity
  • Performs research and/or development in collaboration with others for projects.
  • Makes detailed observations, analyzes data, and interprets results
  • Exercises technical discretion in the design, execution, and interpretation of experiments that contribute to project strategies.
  • Prepares technical reports, summaries, protocols, and quantitative analyses.
  • Maintains familiarity with current scientific literature
  • Contributes to project process within their scientific discipline.
  • Investigates, creates, and develops new methods and technologies for project advancement.
  • Maintains high level of professional expertise through familiarity with scientific literature.
  • Participate in scientific conferences and contribute to scientific journals.
  • Uses professional concepts in accordance with HHMI's objectives to solve complex problems in creative and effective ways.
  • May determine methods and procedures on new assignments and may provide guidance to staff in the laboratory.
In addition to the duties specifically identified by this job description, the position will include other duties if and as assigned by the direct supervisor or others with supervisory authority over this position.

  • May supervise the activities of other staff within the laboratory
  • Shares responsibility for results of a work unit or project team. Intermediate term impact. Individual able to manage own research project. Due to the level of autonomy, errors are not always discovered in a timely manner.
What we need from you:

  • Ph.D. degree in a scientific discipline or MD degree
  • Up to five years of experience working in a scientific laboratory.
Skills and Abilities
  • Previous experience with genomics method preferred: RNA-seq, ATAC-seq, ChIP-seq, single cell/spatial transcriptomics
  • Previous experience with biochemical methods preferred: subcellular fractionation, etc
  • Demonstrated working knowledge of scientific principles
  • Exercises independent judgment in developing methods, techniques, and evaluation criteria for obtaining results
  • Ability to perform highly complex experiments with high levels of reliability and accuracy within time constraints
  • Operational knowledge of advanced lab equipment
  • Ability to provide work and supervise directions to others
  • Ability to initiate and compose communications for various purposes in an appropriate style
  • Ability to work successfully within a collaborative and collegial environment and foster this ability in others.
  • Ability to review goals, analyze processes necessary to achieve those goals, and develop techniques and systems required to meet those goals. Often explores new areas and seeks opportunities to apply new knowledge to work.

Physical Requirements:

Remaining in a normal seated or standing position for extended periods of time; reaching and grasping by extending hand(s) or arm(s); dexterity to manipulate objects with fingers, for example using a keyboard; communication skills using the spoken word; ability to see and hear within normal parameters; ability to move about workspace. The position requires mobility, including the ability to move materials weighing up to several pounds (such as a laptop computer or tablet).

Persons with disabilities may be able to perform the essential duties of this position with reasonable accommodation. Requests for reasonable accommodation will be evaluated on an individual basis.

Please Note:

This job description sets forth the job's principal duties, responsibilities, and requirements; it should not be construed as an exhaustive statement, however. Unless they begin with the word "may," the Essential Duties and Responsibilities described above are "essential functions" of the job, as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Compensation and Benefits

Our employees are compensated from a total rewards perspective in many ways for their contributions to our mission, including competitive pay, exceptional health benefits, retirement plans, time off, and a range of recognition and wellness programs. Visit our Benefits at HHMI site to learn more.
HHMI is an Equal Opportunity Employer

Compensation and Benefits

Our employees are compensated from a total rewards perspective in many ways for their contributions to our mission, including competitive pay, exceptional health benefits, retirement plans, time off, and a range of recognition and wellness programs. Visit our Benefits at HHMI site to learn more.

Compensation Range
$70,000.00 (minimum) - $80,500.00 (midpoint) - $91,000.00 (maximum)

Pay Type:

HHMI's salary structure is developed based on relevant job market data. HHMI considers a candidate's education, previous experiences, knowledge, skills and abilities, as well as internal equity when making job offers. Typically, a new hire for this position in this location is compensated between the minimum and the midpoint of the salary range.

HHMI is an Equal Opportunity Employer

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