Job:Postdoctoral Fellow (ENIGMA Project)
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Postdoctoral Fellow (ENIGMA Project) - 97218 Division: EB-Environ Genomics & Systems Bio

Berkeley Lab’s Environmental Genomics & Systems Biology (EGSB) Division has a Postdoctoral Fellow opening to join the Mutalik Lab ( as part of the ENIGMA program (

In this exciting role, you will develop new technologies to study bacteriophage-host interactions, methods to engineer or evolve phages with specific functional traits, and use laboratory characterization and manipulation of microbial isolates and their synthetic consortia using phages to understand microbial community structure and dynamics from a unique field site.

The ENIGMA project is developing a predictive mechanistic understanding of the dynamic microbial ecology of nitrate cycle processes and greenhouse gas release under stress. As such, there is a need to understand the nature of the microbial contributions to this process through understanding their genetic functions, their dynamic growth behaviors and interactions with biotic and abiotic factors. To meet these goals, you will collaborate closely with the ENIGMA metabolomics, proteomics, computational, and field teams. You will be expected to present your findings in conferences and peer-reviewed journals in addition to seeking out and acquiring extramural funding (including postdoctoral fellowships).

What You Will Do: • Develop novel experimental methods that combine phage engineering approaches with ecology and evolution of phages, integrate recent advances in genome-wide screening technologies and next generation sequencing technologies, leverage viral metagenomic and metatranscriptomic datasets to ecologically contextualize non-model phage isolates. • Work towards a genome-informed increasing mechanistic model of microbial dynamics and ecology in the field and collaborate with other ENIGMA team members. • Develop approaches to better characterize the physiology and interactions amongst microbial isolates/their synthetic consortia conditioned on media that simulate field conditions. • Develop methods to study phage-host genetic determinants that drive aspects of microbial fitness/persistence, community assembly and activity in complex environments. • Develop possible tools for manipulation/controlled perturbation of these communities in vitro and in situ. • Develop robotic automation protocols and tools for enhanced research productivity. • Develop research programs that lead to continued funding by presenting research at international conferences and publishing in highly visible, peer-reviewed journals. • Provide guidance to a small group of technicians and undergraduates. • Collaborate and develop strong working relations with relevant ENIGMA teams on experimental design, data analysis, and long-term project planning.

What is Required: • A recent PhD in Microbiology, Virology, Genetics, Biochemistry, Biochemical Engineering, Synthetic Biology, Genomics, Molecular Biology or a related field. • Experience in handling phages, all aspects of isolation/characterization, phage evolution, phage engineering. • Experience in experimental and/or computational systems biology or microbial ecology approaches to understand biological function in realistic environments or in developing new approaches to characterize and manipulate diverse microbes in relatively high throughput. • Experience in microbial physiology and genetics. • Knowledge of next generation sequencing technologies. • Excellent oral and written communication skills including demonstrated success in the publication of high-impact work in internationally recognized peer-reviewed journals. • Demonstrated interpersonal skills including experience collaborating with a diverse interdisciplinary research team.

What We Prefer: • Demonstrated ability to acquire extramural funding. • Ability to write scripts in at least one programming language (bash, perl, python, etc.). • Experience in handling analysis of large datasets.

For full consideration, please apply with the following application materials: • Cover Letter - Describe your interest in this position and the relevance of your background. • Curriculum Vitae (CV) or Resume.

Notes: • This is a full time, exempt from overtime pay (monthly paid), 1 year appointment with the possibility of renewal based upon satisfactory job performance, continuing availability of funds, and ongoing operational needs. You must have less than 4 years of paid postdoctoral experience. • This position is represented by a union for collective bargaining purposes with predetermined postdoctoral step rates dependent on years of experience post-degree. • Salary is commensurate with experience. • This position may be subject to a background check. Any convictions will be evaluated to determine if they directly relate to the responsibilities and requirements of the position. Having a conviction history will not automatically disqualify an applicant from being considered for employment. • Work will be performed onsite at West Berkeley Biocenter (Potter St.) — Bldg. 977, 717 Potter St., Berkeley, CA.

How To Apply Apply directly online at and follow the on-line instructions to complete the application process.

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