The Plesa research lab is seeking an experienced research associate / staff scientist to focus on the development of novel gene synthesis methods for building large gene libraries as well as novel methods for characterizing and engineering proteins at scale. Candidates interested in entrepreneurial opportunities are encouraged to apply.
Our lab aims to accelerate the pace at which we understand and engineer biological systems, particularly proteins. We are interested in uncovering the rules for the engineering of novel protein function, particularly in the areas of sensing and interfacing with engineering. Towards this end, we develop new technologies for gene synthesis, multiplex functional assays, in-vivo mutagenesis, and genotype-phenotype linkages. These allow us to both access the huge sequence diversity present in natural systems as well as carry out testing of rationally designed hypotheses encoded onto DNA at much larger scales than previously possible. Using these approaches, we aim to quickly characterize and engineer entire protein families, rather than focusing on individual proteins. Our work is highly interdisciplinary and touches on aspects from many fields including bioengineering, protein engineering, biochemistry, synthetic biology, molecular biology, microbiology, structural biology, genetics, bioinformatics, and quantitative biology.
The research associate / staff scientist will be responsible for conducting research and technical activities related to sponsored projects in the lab, with a strong emphasis on technology development. Research work will include designing and optimizing new scalable gene synthesis methods to enable longer genes, higher yields, and lower cost. Other research work may include developing novel multiplex in-vivo assays and methods. Essential responsibilities will include designing and conducting experiments, interpreting data, writing manuscripts, writing research proposals, assembling and delivering research presentations locally and nationally, assisting and training other researchers in the laboratory, and maintaining laboratory equipment. This position will work closely with other lab researchers (students, postdocs, and technicians) and with Dr. Plesa. The position will be given a level of independence depending on the level of candidate experience.
Special Instructions to Applicants: Please submit a cover letter, CV and contact information for three professional references.
Minimum Requirements • PhD in molecular biology, genomics, bioengineering, biochemistry, cellular biology, biophysics, physics, chemistry, chemical engineering or related disciplines. • Four years of relevant experience in academia or industry
Professional Competencies Candidates should have strong skills in the following areas: • Molecular biology techniques (cloning, PCR, DNA extraction, gel electrophoresis) • Bacterial cell culture (E. coli) • Functional genomics • Python and R scientific programming languages for data analysis • Preparation of NGS libraries • Bioinformatic analysis of next-gen sequencing data • Excellent organizational, written, and verbal communication skills • Strong quantitative skills and a strong interest in developing new technologies to advance protein science.
Preferred Qualifications Experience in some of the following areas: • Large-scale experimental approaches particularly multiplexed assays probing sequence-function relationships (deep mutational scanning, MPRAs, ...) • Sequence analysis (phylogenetic tree generation, multiple sequence alignment, BLAST, etc.)
Additional Salary Information: Based on experience.
Internal Number: 527813
About University of Oregon
The Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact is a billion-dollar initiative designed to fast-track scientific discoveries and the process of turning those discoveries into innovations that improve the quality of life for people in Oregon, the nation and beyond. The Knight Campus will reshape the higher education landscape in Oregon by training the next generations of scientists, forging tighter ties with industry and entrepreneurs and creating new educational opportunities for graduate and undergraduate students.