Postdoc Positions in Engineering Gas-filled Protein Nanostructures

Scientific Topics

Website Rice University

The Lab for Synthetic Macromolecular Assemblies (PI: George J. Lu) at Rice Bioengineering has multiple openings for postdoctoral fellows. The research focuses on the understanding and engineering of a class of gas-filled protein nanostructures named gas vesicles, and use them to develop novel imaging and cellular control technologies for basic research and cell therapies. Gas vesicles were recently shown to enable ultrasound- and MRI-based imaging of gene expressions in therapeutic microbes and mammalian cells (Nature Materials 2018; Nature Protocols 2017; Nature 2018; Science 2019), and have future applications in remote cellular control and biomaterials. The qualified postdoc researchers recruited here will lead projects in understanding the molecular mechanism of gas vesicles, engineering novel genetic variants, and developing imaging and cellular control platforms that incorporate these agents.

Dr. Lu was previously awarded the Young Investigator of the Year from the World Molecular Imaging Society for his work on the development of acoustically erasable MRI reporter genes. The independent lab was newly established in 2020 with the support of the NIH Pathway-to-independence (K99/R00) and the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) Scholar awards.

The ideal candidate will have strong expertise in one or several of the following areas: protein structural biology, computational protein design, directed evolution, microbial engineering, mammalian synthetic biology, and ultrasound imaging. The candidate should have strong written and oral communication skills, and will also be expected to aid in the supervision of junior lab members and in the preparation of research proposals. The application for postdoctoral fellowships will be encouraged, including both external and internal ones such as Rice University Academy of Fellows. The pay scale for the position follows NIH guidelines.

Rice Bioengineering is one of the top biomedical engineering departments with its graduate program consistently ranked among the top 10 in the country. The candidate will have opportunities to lead cutting-edge research projects and interact with outstanding scientists as collaborators and trainees.

Rice University is an Equal Opportunity Employer with commitment to diversity at all levels, and considers for employment qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, genetic information, disability, or protected veteran status.

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