Postdoctoral Position at NIH — Noncoding RNA structures and mechanisms

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
Bethesda, Maryland
commensurate with experience
April 23 2021
Position Type
Full Time
Organization Type

A fully funded postdoctoral position (up to 5 years) 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 the lack of structural and mechanistic understanding of complex noncoding RNAs and RNPs. We seek a new member to join our diverse group to study gene-regulatory riboswitches, highly structured viral RNAs, long noncoding and circular RNAs and their complexes with other RNAs and immune proteins, etc. We develop and apply innovative technologies such as rational RNA design and engineering, RNA crystallography, RNA cryo-EM, XFEL, ultrafast SAXS/WAXS, single-molecule fluorescence, fluorescence lifetime, crosslinking-mass spec., etc. See and recent publications below for details:

Bou-Nader C. et al., & Zhang, J. (2021) Structural basis for host tRNA control of HIV-1 Gag localization., In revision.

Suddala K.C & Zhang, J. (2019) High-affinity recognition of specific tRNAs by an mRNA anticodon-binding groove, Nat. Struct. & Mol. Biol., 26, 1114–1122. 

Li S. et al., & Zhang, J. (2019) Structural basis of amino acid surveillance by higher-order tRNA-mRNA interactions, Nat. Struct. & Mol. Biol., 26, 1094–1105.

Hood, I.V. et al., & Zhang, J. (2019). Crystal structure of an Adenovirus Virus-Associated RNA, Nat. Commun. 10:2871

The well-supported lab has dedicated access to state-of-the-art equipment in structural biology (Mosquito, Dragonfly, Rock Imager, Akta Pures, FSEC, etc.; regular synchrotron access for X-ray crystallography; Titan Krios and Glacios for single-particle Cryo-EM; SAXS, AFM, NMR, etc), biochemistry, biophysics (ITC, DSC, SPR, BLI, AUC, DLS, SEC-MALS, CD, fluorescence, thermophoresis, iSCAMS, etc), fermentation, advanced mass spec, genomics and sequencing, and proteomics core facilities with hands-on training or service by dedicated PhD-level staff scientists.

Incoming fellows are also encouraged to bring your own ideas that you could develop into research programs that you can then take to your independent PI positions. The NIH, NIDDK, and LMB are committed to the continued education and career development of trainees through numerous courses and workshops offered by OITE, FAES, and NIDDK.

Requirements: Interested candidates must have received (or be expecting) a Ph.D. or M.D. within the past five years in molecular biology, structural biology, biochemistry, RNA biology, or a related discipline, have excellent oral and written communication skills, and be strongly self-motivated to design and participate in innovative and rigorous research projects. Prior experiences in structural biology are not required, as training will be provided.

To apply: Please email a cover letter indicating 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 in its training and employment programs. DHHS/NIH is an Equal Opportunity Employer. 

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