Postdoctoral and Technician Positions in Noncoding RNA Structural Biology at NIH

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
Bethesda, Maryland
commensurate with experience
June 28 2017
Position Type
Full Time
Organization Type

A postdoctoral or technician position is available in the Structural Biology of Noncoding RNAs and Ribonucleoproteins Section, Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB), NIDDK, in NIH’s vibrant main campus in Bethesda, MD near Washington DC. The lab addresses a widening gap between the accelerated discovery and functional description of the noncoding transcriptome, and a paucity of 3D structures and mechanistic understanding of complex noncoding RNAs. We seek a new member to join our diverse group to study gene-regulatory riboswitches, highly structured viral RNAs, circular and other structured long noncoding RNAs, and their protein complexes. See

The lab is part of the Earl Stadtman Investigator program for high-risk, high-impact research at the NIH intramural program consisting of 1100 labs. The well-supported lab has dedicated access to complete suites of state-of-the-art equipment in structural biology (Mosquito, Dragonfly, Rock Imager, Akta Pures, FSEC, etc. for X-ray crystallography; new Titan Krios for single-particle Cryo-EM; SAXS, AFM, etc), efficient biochemistry, biophysics (ITC, DSC, SPR, BLI, AUC, DLS, SEC-MALS, CD, fluorescence, thermophoresis, etc), fermentation, genomics, and proteomics core facilities with hands-on training or service by PhD-level staff scientists. The NIH, NIDDK, and LMB are committed to the continued education and career development of trainees through numerous courses and workshops offered by OITE and FAES.

We apply innovative technologies to study RNA and RNP structure/function, including RNA cryo-EM, time-resolved XFEL, picosecond SAXS/WAXS, etc. Ongoing research include structural and mechanistic elucidations of how the T-box riboswitches (in bacteria) and Gcn2 kinase (in eukaryotes) recognize the structure and aminoacylation state of tRNA, and couple this readout of nutrient availability with initiating cellular starvation response. A second project addresses how viral and cellular RNA structures differentially manipulate immune response protein activities such as dsRNA-binding PKR. We are delineating the structural hallmarks of self vs. non-self RNA, which are deterministic for activation or suppression of immune protein activity. The lab also works closely with the Center for HIV RNA Studies (CRNA) as a core lab. Incoming fellows are also encouraged to bring your own ideas that you could develop into research programs that you can take to your independent positions.

Requirements: Postdoctoral candidates must have received (or be expecting) a Ph.D. or M.D. within the past five years in molecular or structural biology, biochemistry, or biophysics, and be strongly self-motivated to lead innovative and rigorous research projects. Technician or Postbac candidates should have a BS or MS degree in similar disciplines and extensive laboratory experiences. Strong background in protein expression and purification, enzyme kinetics, RNA, or structural biology is desirable.

To apply: Please email a preferred start date, CV, a brief summary of research interests, accomplishments, and career goals, and names and contact information for at least three references to: Dr. Jinwei Zhang, Email: The NIH is dedicated to building a diverse community and DHHS/NIH is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

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