Postdoctoral Scholars: Microbial Physiology and Biochemistry

New Brunswick, New Jersey
This position includes a competitive salary and full benefits.
October 16 2018
Position Type
Full Time
Organization Type
Job Type

We are recruiting four Postdoctoral Scholars to examine the physiology of gram-positive bacteria. Three positions will focus on the mechanisms of biofilm formation and dispersal in the bacterial human pathogen Staphylococcus aureus. The applicants will examine two regulatory systems that sense cellular respiration and trigger programed cell lysis, resulting in biofilm formation. The applicants will focus their attention on the molecular stimuli of these regulatory systems and factors necessary to disperse S. aureus biofilms. The positions are intended for molecular microbiologists or cell biologists with experience examining gene regulation or multicellular behavior. Successful applicants must have bench experience conducting molecular biology and/or biochemistry.  

The fourth position is a teaching postdoctoral position focused on the study of the mechanisms that cells use to 1) build inorganic protein prosthetic groups called iron-sulfur (FeS) clusters, and 2) maturate FeS proteins. These processes, which are essential for life, are also antibiotic targets. The studies will be carried out in the model bacterium Bacillus subtilis and the human pathogen Staphylococcus aureus; the results from the studies will impact our understanding of iron-dependent processes from bacteria to humans. The applicant will examine the functions of two proteins of unknown function that have roles in the aforementioned processes. S/he will use state-of-the-art mass spectrometry and DNA-sequencing to form hypotheses that can be tested using in vitro biochemical techniques. The position is intended for a molecular microbiologist or biochemist with experience examining protein function.  

Approximately 75% of the teaching Postdoctoral Scholar’s time will be focused on scholarly activities. For the remaining time, s/he will assist the Principal Investigator in designing and implementing a laboratory-based wet and dry lab course in microbial physiology and biochemistry. During this time, s/he will aid in the design and implementation of curricula, assign course and laboratory learning goals, assess student learning outcomes, and mentor students. An overarching goal of this fourth position is to ensure that the hire is prepared to successfully transition into a career as a teacher-scholar.

Minimum qualifications

  • Ph.D. or the equivalent in microbiology, biochemistry, molecular biology, or related field.
  • At least four years of biology or chemistry research lab experience.
  • Strong English writing and oral communication skills.
  • The ability to conduct hands-on biochemical and or molecular experiments.
  • The ability to work with minimal supervision and the motivation to learn new techniques.
  • Capacity to network with other teams for collaborative analyses.
  • Authorization to work in the United States.

Preferred qualifications

  • Expertise in microbiology.
  • A strong publication record.
  • Data analysis experience.

Application review will begin immediately and will continue until the positions are filled. The start date is flexible, but ideally the successful candidates will start in December of 2018. These 12-month positions will have a starting salary of $47,000 annually and full benefits after 60 days.  Annual renewal of these one-year positions up to four years is dependent on funding and progress made by the employee.

Links to start the application process can be found below:

1. Examine the stimuli and response of two two-component regulatory systems that sense cellular respiratory status in Staphylococcus aureus. 

Posting # 18FA0398 (NIH-funded):

2. Examine the mechanism(s) of cellular respiration-dependent biofilm dispersal in Staphylococcus aureus.

Posting # 18FA0478 (NIH-funded):

3. Examine cellular respiration-dependent interactions between Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

posting #18FA0483 (cystic fibrosis foundation funded):

4. Examine how Bacillus subtilis builds iron-sulfur clusters and maturates iron-sulfur proteins. This position is intended for a teacher-scholar. The scholar will spend ~75% of their time on scholarship and ~25% of their time aiding me in the design and implementation of a microbial physiology lab course.

Posting # 18FA0475 (NSF-funded):

The positions will be in the laboratory of Jeff Boyd, which is located on the Cook Campus of Rutgers University-New Brunswick. The campus is 45 minutes from New York City and the shorefront, as well as 1.5 hours from Philadelphia and the Pocono mountains.

For further information please contact Jeff Boyd at

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.  Qualified applicants will be considered for employment without regard to race, creed, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, disability status, genetic information, protected veteran status, military status or any other category protected by law.  As an institution, we value diversity of background and opinion, and prohibit discrimination or harassment on the basis of any legally protected class in the areas of hiring, recruitment, promotion, transfer, demotion, training, compensation, pay, fringe benefits, layoff, termination or any other terms and conditions of employment.

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