Post-Doctoral Fellow at J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI) in La Jolla, California

Posted in General Business 9 days ago.

Type: Full-Time

Job Description:

Position Summary

For many of the tools developed in synthetic biology to be useful in the society, it is critical to ensure that the organisms harboring them are safe. As a center for synthetic biology research, JCVI is committed to this effort. The current project aims to develop a foundry for generating industrially relevant organisms with genetic safeguards, while developing and testing many biocontainment strategies. The position is for conducting research in an area of functional genomics and synthetic biology for these goals.

The Post-Doctoral Fellow will work in a dynamic research team that has made significant contributions to biomedical and bioenergy research. The Fellow will be advised by an Assistant Professor in the team. The Fellow will be provided with resources and supplies to generate the proposed deliverables and explore the potential of the research. The Fellow will work at a LEED Platinum-certified facility in a vibrant scientific community in La Jolla, California including research institutes, biotechnology companies, and University of California San Diego.

The position is expected to be for 3 years and may be extended depending on future grant funding situations. JCVI is a non-profit research institute, and an academic pay scale will be applied. Visa support will not be provided.

Essential Functions

  • Assists in conducting research in functional genomics and synthetic biology related to biocontainment for industrial microbes, including the operation of liquid-handling robots and the analysis of next-generation sequencing data.

  • Designs and executes scientific experiments; analyzes and interprets experimental data; reports findings to the research team.

  • Trains and supervises research associates, students and/or data specialists assigned to the project.

  • Publishes scientific results in peer-reviewed journals.

  • Keeps current with knowledge in relevant scientific discipline through continued reading of the literature.

  • Attends and participates in national and international scientific meetings.

  • Participates in JCVI laboratory meetings and scientific working groups.

  • Interacts with the Campus Director and the Team Leader, as well as the direct advisor, on matters of mutual scientific interest.

  • Works cooperatively with other staff when necessary to achieve JCVI research goals.

  • Abides by environmental, health and safety policies and procedures. This includes reporting potential hazards and when necessary helping to implement solutions to ensure safety and respect for the environment.

  • Performs other duties as assigned.

  • Strictly adheres to all documented JCVI policies and procedures to include carrying out all functions required of Institute employees (e.g., completion of timesheets in an accurate and timely manner).


  • M.D. or Ph.D. in relevant scientific discipline such as Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, Pharmacology, Immunology, Microbiology, Neuroscience or Computer Science required.

  • Strong publication record with demonstrated hands-on laboratory experience, independence and leadership skills .

  • Proficiency in genetic engineering. Previous experience in high-throughput experimentation, next-generation sequencing or work with Pseudomonas putida or Synechocystis sp. among several target organisms preferred.

  • High level of discretion for confidential work and information; ability to appropriately handle critical information and sensitive situations.

  • Proficiency in formulating experimental hypotheses and analyzing and interpreting scientific data.

  • Strong computer aptitude, including experience with word processing, spreadsheet operation, data analysis and data presentation. Programming skills preferred.

  • Familiarity with standard laboratory safety procedures.

  • Excellent organization and time management skills.

  • Flexibility to handle a variety of tasks and shift priorities as needed.

  • Strong interpersonal skills; ability to effectively interact with all levels of staff and external contacts; ability to work as an effective team member.

  • Cooperative and service-oriented attitude; ability to work under pressure and maintain a professional demeanor.

  • Ability to use sound judgment to effectively solve problems within the scope of the position.

  • High level of initiative and ability to work with minimum supervision.

  • Superior verbal and written communications skills.

Work Environment

The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those a teammate encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • Moderate noise (e.g., laboratory with fans and motors; business office with computers, phones, and printers; light traffic).

  • Biosafety level 2 materials present at the facility.

  • Ability to work in a confined area (e.g., darkroom).

  • Ability to sit at a computer terminal for an extended period of time.

  • Ability to stand and/or sit for an extended period of time while working in the lab.

Physical Demands

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to, stand, sit, talk, hear, use hands and fingers to operate a computer and telephone keyboard reach and stoop to install computer equipment.

  • Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision requirements due to computer and lab work.

  • Moderate lifting is required (e.g., lifting centrifugation rotors although assistance can be provided).

  • Repetitive pipetting movements and handling of sharp objects are involved.

J. Craig Venter Institute is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply and will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, protected veteran status, or any other legally protected characteristic or status.

JCVI does not sponsor employment for this position.