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Postdoctoral Associate, Glycobiology or Structural Biology - Zimmer Lab

Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Newcomb Hall, VA
Closing date
Feb 14, 2024

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Primary Work Address: Snyder Building, #380, Charlottesville, VA, 22903

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The Zimmer Lab at the University of Virginia studies how complex carbohydrates shape, support and functionalize biological cells and tissues. By using a wide range of molecular and structural biology tools as well as glycobiology and biochemistry, we study the structure & assembly of cell surface polymers that form extracellular architectures. Many organisms extend their surfaces as protective barriers, to mediate cellular interactions, and to confer mechanical strength. Our research focuses on the synthesis and secretion of high molecular weight polysaccharides and their assembly on cell surfaces. We study capsule and biofilm formation in bacteria, cell wall biosynthesis in plants, chitin deposition in arthropods, and extracellular matrix formation in vertebrates. More information can be found on our website.

About the Role:

This role is designed for those who are thrilled at the idea of doing groundbreaking science in a new research area within an established and well-respected lab. We are hoping to find someone who is extraordinarily motivated, self-directed, and passionate about their research and the research of the lab, and eager to push the boundaries of science forward.

What We Provide:

  • A diverse, multidisciplinary team that focuses on a variety of projects across both basic and material science.
  • Excellent mentorship from a hands-on Lab Head who is invested in the success of those in his lab.
  • A collaborative research environment - participation in a group of researchers and labs who came together due to their shared interest in membrane and cellular biophysics.
  • Opportunity to conduct cutting edge mechanistic research on different scales, from single particles to cells.
What You'll Do:

The opportunity to work on a project that excites you - whatever that may be. We are open to tailoring your project to your interests in the world of glyco- and structural biology. Your work will fit in to our larger projects that focus on a variety of topics on complex carbohydrate synthesis, secretion, and assembly. Our goal is to decipher how these abundant biopolymers are synthesized, how they perform their biological functions, and how we can tailor the processes to create novel biomaterials. Next to classical molecular biology and biochemical tools, you will have access to single particle cryo electron microscopy, tomography, and super-resolution fluorescent microscopy to study biological processes from an atomistic to cellular scale. We would love to have you as part of that work!

What You Bring:
  • PhD. in Molecular Biology, Biochemistry or Structural Biology, or equivalent.
  • Proven foundation in Molecular Biology techniques
  • Familiarity with structural biology techniques is a strong plus.
  • Ability to work both independently and in a collaborative group environment.
  • Effective communication and troubleshooting skills, self-motivated, and a strong work ethic.

Applicants should submit their resume and a detailed research statement on how their experience and interests relate to our research.

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). Work may involve possible exposure to malodorous vapors, contamination by toxic chemicals and acids and presence of carcinogenic substances.

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.

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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